Gary Robert Swanson
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Gary Robert Swanson March 17, 1942 – December 7, 2010 A man considered a Living Legend was lost to us Tuesday night. Gary Robert Swanson, world renowned wildlife artist, loving husband, wonderful father, adoring Papa, and a great friend to all who crossed his path, passed suddenly and far too soon for those he leaves behind. Gary is survived by his wife of 47 years, Audreyetta; son, Trevor Swanson, his wife Jennifer, their two children Connor and Devon; daughter, Kimberly Swanson Clemmer, her husband, Tyler, their three sons, Nickalaus, Johnathan, and Jakeb; his brother, Arthur Swanson and sister, Mary Dodge. Solace is taken in the knowledge that he was greeted at the gates of heaven with the open arms of his father, mother, and brother, Ray. Gary was countless things to an infinite number of people. The list of those whose lives he has touched with sometimes simple, but always memorable moments is endless. Friendly and compassionate, he constantly gave without thought of repayment, offered to help before being asked, and was the strength and encouragement for many. The stories are countless of the times when Gary stepped in to help a friend who was going through a rough patch and without the need of thanks would lend his strong shoulder for support. He was blessed with many gifts and he was never happier than when he could share those gifts with the people around him. Gary Swanson was born in Alcester, South Dakota on March 17, 1942. He was raised on the family farm with two brothers, Ramon and Arthur, and younger sister, Mary. When his father passed away Gary was only 15. Soon after, the family moved to Southern California where Gary began to develop his sense of adventure and wanderlust. He lived in Seattle and Alaska expanding his skill in taxidermy and developing a love of the wild places that would come to drive his life and passion when he turned his attention to artistic endeavors. After many years as a taxidermist, Gary had developed a love, understanding, and passion for wildlife. With urging from his older brother Ray, Gary took up the brush and worked diligently to portray his vision of the world through the medium of oil on canvas. Gary quickly earned a name for himself in the art world with his detailed depictions of the places he had been, traveling the world multiple times to experience first hand the beauty each place has to offer. Gary rose to prominence in his career both by personality and exceptional talent. He was known for his boisterous laugh, contagious whistle, and a welcoming embrace. He had a way of inviting people in to join him in his world of adventure that left everyone in his wake smiling. He was larger than life with a heart as big as the landscape he loved to explore, always curious.... "I wonder what is on the other side of that mountain?" Pericles said, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." Gary Swanson will be remembered most for what he has woven into our lives. If the measure of a man is how many stand up to say thank you at his passing, then Gary was an incredible man indeed. "I feel the loss in the world" a family friend said when struck with the news about Gary's passing. Those sentiments are shared by many who have come forward to offer condolences and help these last few days to those who feel the loss the deepest. God blessed this earth with very few men like Gary Swanson, he will be missed. A viewing will be held from 2 to 4:00 p.m. Friday, December 10th at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary, 2515 Patterson Road, Grand Junction, CO 81505. Services will follow. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Water for Wildlife, 545 Main Street - Lander, WY 82520.

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Published in The Daily Sentinel on Dec. 10, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
January 2, 2011
It's hard to lose a parent. I know you have many fond memories of what appears to be a great man.
Lee Anderson
December 13, 2010
Oh Andy, Trevor and Kimberly, I just heard about Gary and I am so, so very sorry for your sudden lost. I treasure the memories I spent with you, Andy, and Gary at your ranch. May your memories of your life of love and adventure together and the blessed assurance of our Father's love and eternal life give you peace at this time. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Julie Braswell Simmons
December 13, 2010
" Though I didn't know Gary well, he had a warm, welcoming and caring spirit and aura about him. Wish I could have taken him up on that fishin trip on his place. Be prayin for you all, Jeramy Stehman(Grand Junction, CO.)
Jeramy Stehman
December 12, 2010
I add my name to the long list of friends who, when going through a rough time, had Gary and Andy come through with encouragement, humor and big shoulders. My deepest sympathy to the family especially Andy...faithful wife and lover of all things Gary.
Lenell Hannah Devereux
December 11, 2010
All our love to you and your family during this difficult time. May God give you the strength and inner peace you need. He will forever be with you...always.
Sandra Jaquez Reyes
December 11, 2010
We were saddened to hear of your loss. Find solace and comfort in your wonderful memories. Thinking of you.
John and Leslie Nichols
December 10, 2010
Thinking and praying for you Andy, Kim, and Trevor. So glad Dad and Mom could be there with you during this time. I'll never forget the time Gary did a zulu blessing on my fishing lure and I immediately caught a fish. He was an extraordinary man. Love to you all.
Kristen Saltsman
December 10, 2010
Barnes Family Ride
Uncle Gary will be greatly missed. He's the one who taught me to love elephants and mix paint.
Ronda Barnes
December 10, 2010
Now he has something new to paint for us. I wonder what his vision of heaven will look like? Knowing Gary, it will be a mgnificent painting! You are missed, Gary.
Michael Stevens
December 10, 2010
We are so saddened by your recent loss, praying for God's strength and comfort during this very difficult time.
We cherish special memories of the visits at your home while we were in Colorado at Robert and Lisa's.
You are in our thoughts and prayers!!!!
Ralph and Sheila Elmore
December 10, 2010
I really can't recall but two times in my life. before Gary and after I met Gary. he had that much influence on me. to say I Loved the Big Guy would be an understatement. He was my Buddy. He went so suddently that all I can think of is that God must have needed a great artist to paint a scene and Gary came to mind.
Lowell Hansen
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