Swede Swanson: 1940-2004

SWEDE SWANSON, Hershey, Nebraska

November 18, 1940 - December 26, 2004

A.D. “Swede” Swanson, 64, passed away at his home Dec. 26, 2004, after a long battle with cancer.

He was born Nov. 18, 1940 in Curtis to Lawrence and Una Swanson. After graduating from high school in Curtis, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Washington, D.C. He served in the Presidential honor guard at Fort Meyer, Arlington, Va.

After completing his military service, he returned to Curtis to marry his high school sweetheart, Mardee Gardner, on April 17, 1960, in Curtis. He spent several years working for the Orville Kuhlman Polled Hereford Ranch in North Platte, and then lived in California and Oregon. After moving back to the North Platte area, he started selling feed in 1968 for Morman Manufacturing Company, which he retired from in 2002. In 1974, Swede settled south of Hershey, where he and Mardee owned and operated a farm and ranch.

In late 1960s he was introduced to the second love of his life – the sport of rodeo and steer wrestling. He spent a lot of time over the years rodeoing and teaching young cowboys. He was a gold card member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, where he was a state champion steer wrestler in 1969 and 1972. He also was a member of the Mid-States Rodeo Association, a past Hershey school board member, Hershey Booster Club and most recently the Buffalo Bill Rodeo committee.

Along with his love of rodeo, Mr. Swanson enjoyed watching his kids play sports in high school and later in college. Spending time with his grandchildren was an enjoyable time for him.

Survivors include his wife Mardee of Hershey; a son Shane of Omaha; a daughter Sabrena of Phoenix; brothers Rodney of Cozad, and Leonard of Curtis; a sister Evelyn Sines of Imperial; grandchildren, Katie, Kristin and Morgan Swanson and Patrick McNamara; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by a son Rocky; his parents; a father and mother-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Fay Gardner; a sister-in-law, Doris Swanson; and brother-in-law, Kenny Carper.

Memorials are suggested to Miss Rodeo Nebraska Scholarship, High School Rodeo Scholarship in his memory, or to the Great Plains Regional Medical Center Callahan Cancer Center.

The Swanson family invites family and friends who have supported them through these last 16 months to a thank you lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Steerhead Arena on the North River Road, north of Hershey. The memorial services will begin at 2:00 p.m.

Inurnment will be at the Lamont Cemetery Southwest of Hershey following the services.