John 'Johnnie' Swanson

Jun 12, 2013 Staff

John "Johnnie" Swanson, of Riverton, died Sunday, June 9, 2013, at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. He was 80 years old.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 14, at St. John's Lutheran Church. The Rev. Scott Jorgenson will officiate. A viewing will be 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Friday. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.

John Donovan Swanson was born Jan. 3, 1933, on the family farm near Grenora, N.D., the son of John and Bertha (Faulkner) Swanson. He was one of 10 children.

After serving in the Korean War and being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, Mr. Swanson returned to Grenora, N.D. While in Grenora, N.D., he worked as a pumper, owned and operated a gas station, and was a truck pusher for many oilfield-trucking firms. He moved to Ray, N.D., and owned a bar and restaurant. He then moved to Rock Springs where he sold real estate for Century 21. Twelve years ago he moved to Riverton.

He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church. He was a past member of the church boards and always was involved in cooking church meals. He took care of the church grounds, mowing and removing snow for many, many years.

As a younger man, he loved hunting and fishing, often traveling into the mountains and into Canada. From 2007 to 2010 he was in charge of "the camp" at his son's outfitting camp at the base of the Seminole Mountains. There he would cook breakfast, pack lunches for the hunters and guides and cook the evening meals. Many of the returning hunters said that they didn't eat that well at home and that was the reason they returned.

His family said that he loved cooking, gardening, tending flowers and staying busy. When he was 73 years old, he hand-mixed the cement for his sidewalks at his home using 80-pound bags. Every winter, he would wash all the drapes and curtains in his house and remove all light fixtures and clean them. His family said he just couldn't stand a dirty home or sitting still.

He is survived by his sons, Pat (Teresa) Swanson of Thornton, Colo., Vaughn (Twyla) Swanson of Phoenix, and Al (Linda) Swanson of Houston; daughters Jody (Greg) Sears Boyd of Riverton and Renee (Craig) Swanson Arthur of Lamar, Mo.; sister Darlene Solberg of Longmont, Colo.; brother Morris Swanson of Williston, N.D.; grandchildren Megan, Nicole, Bradley, Hanna, Tony, Kaden, Kendell, Brayden, Trayden and Rylan; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son John in 1994; son-in-law Jayson Sears; grandson Kyler Swanson; and seven brothers and sisters.

Memorials may be made to St. John's Youth "Holy Moly" Program through Davis Funeral Home.

Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home of Riverton. Online condolences may be left at

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