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Rev. H.R. Erwin Swanson

1923 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Rev. H.R. Erwin Swanson Obituary
Rev. H.R. Erwin Swanson

Madison, WI Formerly of Bettendorf, Des Moines

and Burlington

The Rev. H.R. Erwin Swanson, age 89, died Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at home surrounded by family. He was born on Oct. 21, 1923, in Chicago, Ill., the son of Erick and Anna (Carlsson) Swanson and was raised along with younger brother George H.K. Swanson in the Swedish Lutheran Home for Children in Joliet, Ill. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and Korea. Erwin attended Augustana College and Seminary in Rock Island, Ill. and was ordained into the Augustana Synod of the Lutheran Church on June 19, 1955. He married Karin Edith Bengston on June 17, 1956. He served Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rice Lake, WI, Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa, and St. James Lutheran Church in Bettendorf, Iowa. Erwin also served with the Luther Manor and Salvation Army Boards of Directors and as a Bettendorf police chaplain. He volunteered as a Challenger Little League Coach, in the Bettendorf Rotary Club, and with the United Way. Erwin supported Lutheran Social Services and was a member of the Augustana Heritage Association. He and Karin were blessed with four children, Karla, Sonya, Erick, and John.

Erwin is survived by his wife, Karin; children, Karla Swanson of Des Moines, Iowa, Sonya (Rev. Ted) Lindquist of Fitchburg, WI; Rev. Erick (Kristi) Swanson of Maquoketa, IA, and Rev. John (Beth) Swanson of Madison, WI; grandchildren, Anna and Carl Lindquist, Nathan Swanson, Zachary (Brittney) Swanson, Drake Swanson, and Lydia and Caleb Swanson; great grandson, Zaiden Swanson; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, George; and sister-in-law, Mitzi Swanson.

Funeral services will be held at St. James Lutheran Church, 1705 Oak St., Bettendorf, Iowa, on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11 a.m. with a time of fellowship and food to immediately follow. Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Thursday.

Memorials may be made to ELCA World Hunger Appeal, P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, Ill., 60694-1764.

Gunderson East Funeral & Cremation Care, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, WI 53716, Phone (608) 221-5420. Online condolences may be made to


Published in Des Moines Register on Dec. 3, 2012
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