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James R. Swanson May 17, 1925 - Jan. 19, 2013

James R. Swanson May 17, 1925 - Jan. 19, 2013

LITCHFIELD - James R. Swanson, age 87, of Litchfield died on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Litchfield. Visitation will be held from 4:00 until 7:00 PM on Monday, January 21st at the church and will continue one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Lake Ripley Cemetery with military honors by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard.

James Robert Swanson, the son of Elmer and Bertha (Gimmestad) Swanson, was born on May 17, 1925 in Cannon Falls. He grew up and received his education in Wanamingo, MN graduating from Wanamingo High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during WWII. Following his service he returned to Minnesota and graduated from St. Olaf College. He worked as a salesman for Economy Gas in Litchfield. On December 28, 1955 he was united in marriage to DeVona Skalbeck in Sacred Heart. They moved to Colorado where Jim received his teaching certificate. They moved to Kerkhoven where he taught several years before moving to Litchfield and continued to teach business, math and economics classes. Jim also taught at the Vocational Education Center in Litchfield before becoming the director there. He retired at the age of 60 and worked various part time jobs including as an assistant at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home. He was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church serving on various committees. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed sharing produce with all of his friends. He also enjoyed traveling with DeVona, fishing trips and going to coffee with his “coffee buddies”. Jim loved to spend time with his family and attending his grandchildren’s activities. Completing the Crosswod, Crypto Quip and Sudoku from the Star Tribune was part of his daily routine. He had been a part of the Peanut Butter and Milk Festival, traveling to Alabama numerous times as well as helping to host Alabama quests.

He is survived by his wife DeVona Swanson of Litchfield, children, Peter (and Sara) Swanson of Litchfield and Linda (and Bruce) Hamm of Litchfield, grandchildren, Samantha (and Dan Pehle) Swanson, Benjamin Swanson, Bethany, Charlie and David Hamm and great granddaughter Avery Pehle. He is also survived by his sister Barb (and John) Monson of Hackensack, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents. Memorials are preferred.