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William Benjamin Swahlen


1918 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
William Benjamin Swahlen Obituary
Swahlen, William Benjamin
William Benjamin Swahlen passed away on April 7, 2016, at the age of 97 in his Prescott home. He was born on October 11, 1918 in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in nearby Webster Groves. Bill graduated from the University of Arizona, where he met his wife of 74 years, Marian Houston. They were married in Tucson on April 28, 1942. Bill proudly served in the US Navy during WWII as a gunnery and a torpedo officer on several destroyers, one of which was sunk in the Battle of Guadalcanal. He was awarded the Silver Star for his action in battle and received honorary retirement as full commander, USNR. Bill's first job after WWII was at Arizona Flour Mills in Tempe. In 1948 he and Marian purchased a farm outside of Tempe and established a cattle feeding operation. During his 23 years of feeding cattle Bill served as chairman of the Livestock Sanitary Board, chairman of the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association and president of the Arizona Beef Council. He was also a charter member of Tempe's first Kiwanis Club. In 1971, as suburbia crept towards their feedlot, Bill decided it was time to move on. They sold their land and purchased a cattle ranch outside of Salmon, Idaho. After 32 years of ranching in Idaho, Bill and Marian retired to Prescott in 2003. Bill will be very missed by his wife Marian, his son William B Swahlen III, his daughter Cynthia L Swahlen, his nieces in Scottsdale and Lopez Island, WA, as well as many friends in Prescott and Phoenix. A celebration of Bill's life will be held in Phoenix at a later date. Arrangements by Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home in Prescott. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Salvation Army in Prescott. (928) 778-0150
Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 23, 2016
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