George Everett Swanson, of Bronson, FL, died today, Sept. 1, 2013, at Haven Hospice. He was born May 9th, 1936 in Gardner, MA. He was the son of the former Philip Swanson and Lydia (Mattson) Swanson of Templeton, MA. He is predeceased by his brothers Edmund (Alm) Swanson and Richard Swanson, his daughter Joann M Swanson and his son, Steven G Swanson. He leaves his wife Nancy (Schuster) Swanson of 25 years and her family. He will be greatly missed by his sons, Gary D Swanson, Sr., of Montague, MA, and Michael D Swanson of Athol, MA, his sisters Ingrid Myllykangas of Westminster, MA, Arlene White, Christine Lorion and Betty Knowlton, of Templeton, MA, his brothers, Phil Swanson of Townsend, MA, and Jim Swanson of Skowhegan, ME. George also leaves many cousins, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and very many friends.
George graduated from Templeton High School in 1954 and soon after joined the Air Force. He served from 1955, including overseas duty in Madrid, Spain, where he met his first wife, Matilde (Tillie) Warner (Arroyo) currently of Montague, MA. He was an Air Traffic Controller reaching the rank of Airman First Class. He served for 8 years and was honorably discharged in 1962.
George worked most of his life as an auto mechanic and became the Service Manager for Bostley Motors Sales of Greenfield, MA. He then worked as a Diesel Mechanic for the B&M Railroad for many years stationed out of East Deerfield, Fitchburg, and Billerica, MA. He had a tuned ear and eyes for all types of automobiles and engines and was well known in the area for his expert troubleshooting skills.
He loved country music, learned guitar and banjo, and was well known for his billiard skills. George enjoyed sports, playing in local softball leagues for many years, especially enjoyed the family favorite Boston Red Sox and he also enjoyed working outside.
George retired to Bronson, FL, where he built a home in 1986. While in Florida, he continued to work on autos and also worked with a local children’s day care as a handy man.
The video above is a composition of several photos of George and his family through the years. The song is a remastered version of a recording made many years ago of his mother, Lydia, singing “What a day that will be”. (Note: click the HD button for higher resolution)
You can find recent images of George in this Post and more here. Here are some more..As more are sent, I will update this Gallery:
George was an 11 year cancer survivor. He fought a brave and valiant fight to the very end. The family thanks the CCC and Haven Hospice for their loving care. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in the name of George Everett Swanson to the American Cancer Society.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2PM (sharp) on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at:
Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery
1390 Main St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Burial is handled privately by the Cemetery staff. This is typical with a Vets Cemetery. A reception will take place directly afterwards, those arrangements to be announced at the Ceremony.
Memorial Service video is now below:
Please feel free to leave a comment below. (Remember to refresh this page to see latest updates and comments)
In his honor, another tune:
Great job Gary. Thanks for all you have done under difficult circumstances.
To my brother, George:
Seventy-five years we were brothers; how can I put that into words? For many of those years we shared a bedroom when we were younger. Remember the discussion we had about who left the apple core in the bed, only to find out later that Eddie had done it as a joke. What about our “field of dreams” where we played baseball or football day or night. Winter found us ice skating every chance we had. We had the highway dept. install lights for night skating. In our high school years you were the singing cowboy and I was a basketball player. Every musical you were a soloist and had your guitar in hand. You were also the official scorer at all the home basketball games so I had to report to get in the game. Remember the varsity vs. faculty game when you and several other guys (Lauri Long one of them) dressed up in grain sacks as cheerleaders? What about your light blue Ford convertible and you and I driving to church with the top down. (Dad wouldn’t let anyone else ride with us.) I remember the night of your high school graduation and I was the grand marshal. You tapped me on the shoulder when you marched by. The years have gone by and I will remember all the emails that have passed between us this past year. We sure did solve a lot of the worlds problems. Well, today I tap you on the shoulder as you have now made the real varsity team.
Until we meet again, your brother, Phil.
Thank you, Phil. Losing a brother is hard – wish I did not know that yet, alas, I do…
Dad, what a beautiful reading to Uncle George! xo
I am so sorry for your loss! Don’t know what to say more…
Sorry…. I know the pain of losing a father.
Laura and Dave
I share your sorrow Gary. Gob bless you and the family.
Great tribute Gary. Our prayers are with everyone dealing with this loss.
So sorry to hear of the passing of your brother, George. Our sympathy goes to you and the entire Swanson family. But, there is comfort in knowing that his suffering in this life is over while the joy and peace in his new life with the Creator is just beginning. God bless you all at this difficult time.
So sorry to hear of George’s passing. My prayers and sympathy to the entire Swanson family. I was priviledged to meet many of them at Elim Park for a cousins reunion. I saw how close all the siblings are and I know this will be a great loss for them as well as the rest of the family. Find comfort in knowing that George is at peace and in the arms of the angels. God’s blessings on you all!
I express my deepest sympathy to the entire Swanson family at the loss of George. Know that your family will be in my prayers and that God can and will comfort you in this time of sorrow. This poem is for such days as this and know George is being comforted by Jesus now and someday you shall see him again.
A day of sweet sorrow
Will there be a tomorrow?
How can this be?
I can’t imagine life without thee.
It is true, presently we are apart
But yet there’s joy in my heart.
Try that I may to not shed a tear
Oh, tomorrow come near.
For, someday my sweet sorrow.
I will see that tomorrow.
Until then, dear Prince of Peace
Hold close my beloved deceased.
We’re so sorry to hear about your brother. Finding the right words is too often impossible to do. We have an advantage though, one of the poems that Bob’s mother wrote back in the sixties.
You’ve but to look, to recognize
the bond of fellowship, which ties
one group of men from all the rest.
It’s those whom ‘love of God’ has blest
They do not need to meet to know
what ties of love have bound them so
At each ones passing- they can say
A friend of mine went home today
His fight is over, he’s home. The hard part is to carry on, with God’ strength, you will.
Bob and Sue.
We were so sorry to hear of your brother George’s death. It was great that you could get to FL and spend some time with him shortly before his death. Please express our love and sympathy to the rest of the family. 2 Cor 1:3-5 are verses that I think you as brothers and sisters live out quite well in bringing comfort from God to one another.
Our love to you all,
Glenn and Sandy
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you as you mourn the loss of your brother George. Thank you for sharing these memories with us. We hope your memories will help to comfort you as you do all that needs to be done. George sounds like a fun person and a fine man.
May those around you hold you close and may you feel a hug when you need it most. Please convey our sympathy to your sisters and brothers also.
In Sympathy, Sharon and Alan