RINGWOOD – Kenneth A. "Ken" Swanson, 78, of Ringwood, died at Centegra Hospital – McHenry on March 8, 2013, after battling complications of diabetes for many years.|
He was born Sept. 14, 1934, at Augustana Hospital in Chicago, to Adolph E. and Estelle (Walensa) Swanson.
On March 27, 1954, he married Martha Jane "Marti" Baldwin, daughter of Francis M. and Irville (Miller) Baldwin, at the First Methodist Church of Oak Park.
Ken grew up in Evergreen Park and was a 1952 graduate of Blue Island Community High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He was a 1956 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, where he played four years of football.
He also did graduate work at Northern Illinois University. Ken taught physical education and coached 11 years in Batavia. He then taught 23 years at McHenry West High School, where he coached football and baseball. He also was a longtime IHSA official.
He was an avid Chicago sports fan, especially the White Sox, and he held Bears' season tickets since the early '70s. Summers included coaching and construction jobs plus camping with the family. After the children were "grown and gone," he and Marti traveled to 49 states with their dogs (and grandchildren sometimes) in their travel trailer. Goal destinations included many national parks and major league ballparks.
During his 22-plus years of retirement, Ken continued to officiate high school sports and travel. He was active in retired teachers' activities, including four years as president of the McHenry County Retired Teachers' Association and four years as regional director for the Illinois Retired Teachers' Association. He also enjoyed chauffeuring for area funeral homes and participating in weekly cribbage clubs.
Ken is survived by his wife of almost 59 years; their daughter, Laurie (Rick) Bender of Crystal Lake; his brother, Kel (Judy) of Centennial, Colo.; his grandchildren, Sara (Brian) Flanigan of Crystal Lake, Darcie (Noel) Hubber of Las Vegas, Jacob Swanson of Lemont and Samantha (George) Lambert of Justin, Texas; and great-grandchildren, Kendrick and Charlie Flanigan and Georgie Lambert; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his sons, Rick in 2006 and Gary in 2010.
The visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Colonial Funeral Home, 591 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry, and beginning at 9 a.m. at the church Thursday. Memorial services will be at The Community Church of Richmond, 5714 Broadway St., at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 14, with the Rev. Hope Molozaiy officiating. Burial will follow in the Ringwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Ken's memory to the McHenry County Retired Teachers' Association (MCRTA) Scholarship Fund at 3507 James Way, Johnsburg, IL 60050.
For information, call Colonial Funeral Home at 815-385-0063 or visit www.colonialmchenry.com.
Published in the Northwest Herald on Mar. 10, 2013