Waltrip Alumni Association

A Tribute to Patrick Swayze, Waltrip Alumni, Class of '71


Patrick Wayne Swayze was born on August 18, 1952, in Houston, Texas, the second child of Patsy Yvonne Helen (née Karnes; born 1927), a choreographer, dance instructor, and dancer, and Jesse Wayne Swayze (1925–1982), an engineering draftsman.  He was raised Roman Catholic. Swayze had two younger brothers, actor Don Swayze (born 1958) and Sean Kyle (born 1962) and sister Vickie Lynn (1949–1994). He was a sixth cousin once removed of commentator John Cameron Swayze, and a relative of noted Texas Revolution soldier Henry Karnes.

 Until the age of twenty, Swayze lived in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston, where he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Oak Forest Elementary School, Black Middle School, and Waltrip High School. During this time, he also pursued multiple artistic and athletic skills, such as ice skating, classical ballet, and acting in school plays. He played football for Waltrip High School and was hoping to receive a football scholarship to college until a knee injury ended his career. He studied gymnastics at nearby San Jacinto College for two years.

In 1972, he moved to New York City to complete his formal dance training at the Harkness Ballet and Joffrey ballet schools.

Diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in January 2008, he died from the disease on September 14, 2009.

Number 87

Patrick's football jersey was retired in tribute in November, 2009. 
It is currently on display in the main lobby of the school.


Sad to Report:

Houston native Patsy Swayze, the late actor Patrick Swayze’s mother, died Monday night, September 16, 2013 after suffering a stroke earlier this month. She was 86.

The longtime dance instructor and choreographer passed away just two days after the anniversary of her son’s 2009 death.

"Patsy was an inspiration, a role model, and just an all around amazing human being to thousands of people all across the world and her Legacy will forever be remembered," granddaughter Danielle said.

Swayze’s surviving son, Don, and other family members were by her side and holding her hands when she died.

Patsy Swayze was best-known for choreographing movies like "Urban Cowboy" and "Hope Floats."

Many Waltrip alumni knew Patsy and we extend our sincere condolences to the family.

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