John Morley Swanson Sr. died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease May 24, 2008. He was 91 years old. He lived a long and full life.
John was born to Arthur Alfred Swanson and Eva Geneva Morley in Superior, on Sept. 12, 1917. He was raised in Shell Lake with his brother, Kelley Swanson, who preceded John’s death, and a sister, Gloria Swanson, who lives in Washington, Mo. John was a member of the United States Marine Corps and a World War II veteran. He served his country as one of Carlson’s Raiders in the South Pacific. John looked forward to the Raider Reunions and was an active attendee until just a few years ago.
John married Grace Braid on March 5, 1944, in Rockford, Ill., and their union produced three children: John Morley Swanson Jr., Escondido, Calif., Wayne Arthur Swanson Sr., Menifee, Calif., and Mary Louise Stewart, Pembroke Pines, Fla. After the war, the family relocated to Southern California, living in Carson and Long Beach. John and Grace divorced in 1983. His children survive him, as well as their spouses Joanne, Becky and Peter, respectively. He is also survived by grandchildren John, Trisha and Stephan, Ross, Tara, Kim and Matthew; Michael, Wayne Jr., Jennifer, David, Brandon and Corey; and Lindsay; 15 great-grandchildren with another due in December; Noleen Allebaugh, his companion, friend, caretaker and sweetheart of many years, and her children, Bob, Ray and Margaret and their families.
John worked in the trades, primarily as a carpenter and electrician, practically from the time he could swing a hammer. After John retired, he and Noleen enjoyed gardening, traveling, hiking, nature walks, wood crafting and many other hobbies. They were regular visitors to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, the aquarium as well as many other local events, including the Long Beach Grand Prix. John and Noleen were never at a loss for things to do, and they were always busy or on the go.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. His children will bring his ashes to Shell Lake, as he so wanted to go back to Shell Lake and that was all he talked about in his final years. His children have fond memories of their childhood vacations in Shell Lake and say it will be good to take him home.