Gene A. Swanson

FAIRMONT – Funeral services for Gene A. Swanson, 74, of St. Cloud, Minn., formerly of Fairmont, Minn., will be 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont. Burial will be following the service in the Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors by Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36 and Martin County VFW Post 1222 of Fairmont.

Gene passed away following a long battle with ALS on Wednesday evening, Jan. 16, 2013, at St. Cloud VA Health Care System in St. Cloud, Minn. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and will continue one hour prior to the time of service Monday.

Gene Arthur Swanson was born Aug. 24, 1938, in Westford Township, Minn. He was the son of Carl “Peno” and Lila (Hartwig) Swanson. He attended Fairmont public school and graduated in 1956.

In 1962, Gene was united in marriage to Karen Goemann in Fairmont, Minn. This union was blessed with two children, Kathy and David. He later spent many years together with a close companion who had two children, Crystal and Nick, whom he considered his own.

On June 11, 1956, Gene enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served until receiving an honorable discharge on Aug. 14, 1959. Following his enlistment in the Navy, he attended college at Mankato State University and graduated in May 1963. Gene then attended law school at the University of Minnesota.

Gene was a lifelong resident of Fairmont, where he owned and operated Swanson Construction. He also enjoyed carpentry and driving school bus for many years until his retirement in 2010. Gene was a longtime member of the Minnesota Bluegrass Association as well as being a member of the Fairmont Historical Society, Fairmont Opera House and the Red Rock Center. He enjoyed fishing, camping, attending Bluegrass Festivals, woodworking, helping family and friends with remodeling projects, and had a passion for trains. Gene loved his basset hounds and was a huge supporter and fan of Fairmont Cardinal sports. He most loved spending time with his family and friends.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Kathy Holman of Sauk Rapids, Minn., and David Swanson and his wife, Ann, of South Elgin, Ill.; grandchildren, Kelsey Steuber, Kyle Steuber, Lexi Holman, Matthew Swanson and Danielle Swanson; step grandchildren, Drew Jones, Meagan Downward, Heidi Harazin, and Lauren Jones; four step great-grandchildren; special friends, Crystal Hanson and her husband, Neil, and their children, Macy, Devin and Cole of Granada, Minn., and Nick Lowry and his wife, Jennifer, of Minneapolis, Minn.; brothers, Wayne (Mary) Swanson, and Jerry (Sandy) Swanson; sisters, Marie (Dennis) Laffey, Janet (Ron) Kakeldey, Linda Swanson, Suzie (Joe) Jerich, and Lila Soncrant; half brother, Richard Hartjen; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Along with his parents, Carl “Peno” and Lila Swanson, Gene was preceded in death by his brothers-in-law, Ron Theisen and Kerry Soncrant; half brother, Veryle Hartjen; nephews, Jason Soncrant and Jacob Theisen; and great nephew, Brandon Byers.