Dean Kenneth Swanson 1946 - 2022

Dean Kenneth Swanson, a longtime resident of McMinnville, Oregon, passed away Monday, January 31, 2022, in Dayton, Oregon, surrounded by family and friends. Dean was born May 15, 1946, in Park Rapids, Minnesota, the seventh of eight children born to Carl Erick Swanson and Anna Caroline Hegge.

Dean graduated in 1964 from Menahga High School. He served in the Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969.

On October 30, 1965, he married his high school sweetheart, Gladys (Happy) Simi. Two daughters were born to this union, Denene and Brenda.
In 1973, the family moved to Bull Shoals, Arkansas. He worked at Ranger Bass Boats in Flippin, Arkansas, for a short while. He was inspired and thought, “I can do this,” and opened Deans Upholstery. He specialized in sewing boat tarps, cushions and furniture.

In 1978, he got a calling: “Go West, Young Man,” and packed his family and belongings to start his journey to McMinnville. Dean began working in construction, then started at Cascade Steel before retiring in 2007 from Foseco, Inc.

Dean loved giving back to fellow veterans and anyone in need. He was a dedicated member of the American Legion for 54 years. He used his talents of organizing and served in leadership as Post and District Commander. He also spent time as an aide to the State Commander, and was a member of the VFW auxiliary in Parker, Arizona.

His hobbies included hunting, fishing and golfing, in which he achieved seven holes in one. He spent many years, crabbing at the beach and spending time at his summer home in Lake Billy Chinook. He also decided he wanted to learn to fly; he achieved this, received his pilot license, and bought a plane.

He enjoyed 14 years as a snowbird traveling between Arizona, Minnesota and Oregon, making memories with a host of many friends and family. He often had a wise quote to share that was wrapped up in his witty sense of humor.

Dean was proud of his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whom he loved dearly. They made a lot of memories throughout their 56 years of marriage. He will be sadly missed, but we know he is at peace and is no longer suffering from cancer.

He is survived by his wife, Gladys “Happy” Swanson; daughters, Denene Lake and Brenda Morton; five grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother, Keith Swanson (Sue); sister-in-law, Jackie Swanson; and numerous nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Anna Swanson; brothers, Roy Swanson, Ray Swanson, Carl Victor Swanson and Myron Swanson; and sisters, Lorraine Kielblock and Gloria Carl.

The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 19, at First Baptist Church of Carlton; a reception will follow at 3 p.m. at the American Legion Post 21 in McMinnville.

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