Oct. 26, 1929 - Mar. 20, 2013
Ragnar Gustav Swanson, 83, of Sarasota, FL, formerly of Gurnee, Illinois passed to a better life on March 20, 2013. Ray was born in North Chicago, Illinois to Swedish parents Ray and Dagny Swanson. He graduated from Waukegan Township High School, excelling in academics and basketball. He was an Eagle Scout. Ragnar earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois
, where he met Barbara Bankson, who he married upon graduation. At U of I, he was a member of Theta Xi Fraternity. In 1954, Ragnar established the architectural firm of Swanson and Ladehoff in Waukegan, Illinois. His firm specialized in the design of commercial projects such as schools, grocery/retail space and churches. After a move to Sarasota in 1973, Swanson re-established his architectural/real estate business with Land Ho. In the 1980's, Ray and his wife, Barb, owned and operated The Cubby Hole mini storage facility on Siesta Key. Ragnar was a charter member of The Swedish Club of Sarasota, serving on its board for 8 years as secretary and treasurer. Ray loved camping, fishing, singing, Tampa Bay Bucs football and life on Siesta Key. However, his greatest joy in life was his family! Ragnar leaves behind his devoted wife, Barb, who he was so blessed to have loved and cherished for 61 years of marriage. He is also survived by four girls lucky enough to be his daughters - Alisa Ward (Bob), Karen Turner (Jim), Laura Swanson (John Hogan) and Julia Bishop (Dave), as well as nine grandchildren who adored their "Grandpa Ray" - Parker Ward, Hayley Ward, Leah Cotter (Christian), Lauren Turner, Meghan Kelly, John Hogan, Christopher Hogan, Grace Bishop and Emma Bishop. A private family gathering will be held at a later date. In memory of Ragnar, our family requests that you treasure and celebrate your loved ones every chance you can.