John J. Swanson


Due to COVID-19, private family services will be held.

Memorials may be directed to the United Church of Christ in Chamberlain, SD.

John Julius Swanson passed away on November 9, 2020 at the Sanford Care Center in Chamberlain at the age of 98 years.

John Julius Swanson was born on March 3, 1922 on the family farm near Pukwana, SD to Emiel and Adeline (Lunn) Swanson. John was the 5th of 9 children, and told many tales of growing up with his siblings during the Great Depression. He and his siblings attended school in a one-room schoolhouse that they walked to. They called it the Swanson School because all of the Swanson kids. He attended two years of high school in Pukwana but had to ride a bike or horse to get there which was five miles. When he was a boy, some farming was still done with horses and he talked about hitching the horses to the wagon to go into town for supplies. John bought the Glass Ranch near Pukwana and farmed it until his late 80’s (although like most farmers, he never really retired), raising corn, wheat, hogs and cattle. John was one of the first in his area to raise Angus cattle. He was a Dekalb seed corn dealer for many years, served on the Cleveland Township Board, and was an active member of the United Church of Christ in Chamberlain, serving on the church Trustee Board.

John met and fell in love with Marjorie Grace Moline of Waukon, Iowa when she came out to visit her cousin, Betty (Moline) Swanson, who was married to John’s brother Walter. The two were married on March 12, 1955. John and Marjorie had four children: James, David, Naomi, and Ramona. John doted on his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.

John Julius Swanson is survived by his wife Marjorie (Moline) Swanson; his brother Alvin Swanson of Kimball; a sister Lois Bickner of Sioux Falls, SD; his children James (Kathy) Swanson, David (Becky) Swanson all of Pukwana, SD, Naomi Swanson of Cincinnati, OH, and Ramona (Mark Montecalvo) Swanson of Cortland, OH; his grandchildren Matt (Mardi) Swanson of Pukwana, SD, Jessica (Brad) Krajewski of Sutherland, NE, Mark (Cristina) Swanson of Pukwana, SD, Laura Beth (Russ) Abernathy of Sturgis, SD; and his great grandchildren Caleb Swanson, Shelby Swanson, Evan Krajewski, Morgan Krajewski, Melanie Krajewski, Jacob Swanson, Charlotte Abernathy and Cameron Abernathy. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents Emiel and Adeline; his sister and brother-in-law Helen (Vernon) Bebo; his brothers and sisters-in-law Harold (Marjorie), Lawrence (Irene), Walter (Betty), Rudolph (Toni), and Edwin (Etta); sister-in-law Gwen Swanson and brother-in-law Donald Bickner.

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