JAMES ALLEN SWANDA

Obituary
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  • "I was saddened to hear today of Jim's passing. Marilyn my..."
    - Sharon McDaniel
  • "Jim was a good man as well as a very hard working man,..."
    - lisa mars
  • - John & Gail Cannon
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JAMES ALLEN SWANDA Mueller's Greenlee Funeral Home James "Jim" Allen Swanda, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to many passed away January 19th 2017 at the age of 75 following a recent illness and progression of Alzheimer's over the past seven years. He was born the oldest of three children to James and Maxine Swanda May 29th, 1941 in Pasco. His parents planted roots in Pasco in 1940, where his dad, a hard working first generation Czech descendant was an electrician in the first years of the Manhattan Project at Hanford. His sister Marianne and brother Michael "Mickey" followed to make their family complete. Pasco was his playground as a youngster. As a teenager, he loved to play basketball and became a very good player for Pasco High School and CBC. He played well into his early forties for city and church league teams. His city league team would even travel to play at the Washington State Penitentiary. Jim graduated from Pasco High School with the Class of '59. He was introduced to farming when he was young by his father and it later grew into his life's passion. He worked weekends and summers with his father and brother on his mother's family property in the Sprague area. Every weekend they would travel Hwy 395, just a two lane road, to work on the ranch. His grandkids have found great joy in the adventures of this ranch property, now known to many as "Cow Camp". In June of 1959, as he worked on a wheat ranch up north for one of his mother's cousins, he was introduced to a co-worker's sister, a beautiful farm girl from the Fishtrap Lake area named Marilyn Scroggie. On May 28th 1960, one day before his 19th birthday he and Marilyn were married in Cheney to begin their married life together that would last nearly 57 years. They made Pasco their home and were blessed with four daughters, Marcy (1961), Shelly (1963), Terry (1965), and Nancy (1974). In 1968, with the help of his father, Jim and Marilyn became farmers when the first 164 acres of ground on Taylor Flats Road in Block 16 was purchased, later to be known as Swanda Farms. The land, part of the Great Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, still had sagebrush to be cleared and land to be leveled. By the Spring of 1969, a water driven Valley Circle was installed to irrigate and grow alfalfa hay. Jim, Marilyn and the girls quickly learned the job of changing hand lines on the corners! A "penny a pipe" was his going pay rate at that time. For the first eleven years, Jim worked shift-work full time at Chevron Chemical Plant in Finley, making fertilizer while also farming full time, finally leaving Chevron in 1979. He enjoyed hard work and never complained about it. He passed this work ethic down to his kids and grandkids. He loved delivering his hay bales on his one ton Dodge trucks to customers all over the Tri-Cities. In the early years, Jim trucked hay on semi-trucks over to dairies and feed stores on the West side of Washington, then down into Oregon and Idaho. The quality of his hay was recognized with the award of 1st place in the 1997 Hay King competition at the Benton/Franklin County Fair. Over the years he raised cattle, wheat, corn, and even pigs, but growing alfalfa was the crop he loved. He remained on the farm for 48 years, still farming into his 70's. Even this winter, he would go on hay deliveries with his brother Mickey and grandson Eric, who both farm with him. Walks to his hay sheds several times a day took place until just a couple of weeks before he passed. Jim was as friendly as they come, with a big smile. He was usually seen wearing his trademark colorful welder hats or baseball caps and extending his strong handshake to anyone around him. He was always a generous and supportive dad to his daughters and their husbands and an even better grandpa. He loved being a grandpa, attending all of his grandkids' activities, supporting them and their friends. Jim was loved very much by his family and friends; he will be greatly missed. Jim is survived by his devoted, loving and caring wife Marilyn, and his children: Marcy (Leo) Aranda, Shelly (Roger) Urlacher and Nancy (Bryan) Hansen; his grandchildrenthe Aranda's: Marcus (Christina); Eric (Sara); Megan Matus (Robby)the Urlacher's: Lucas (Jamie); Mitchell and Austinthe Hansen's: Kate, Claire, Ian and Anna. Two great grandchildren, Maxwell and Savannah Aranda; also his brother Mickey and sister Marianne Lang (Terry). He was preceded in death by his parents and later his daughter Terry in 1982. Jim's funeral will be Saturday, February 4th, 2017 at 10am at Pasco Christian Church, 1524 West Marie, Pasco. An appetizer/dessert reception will follow. Graveside service will then follow at Pasco City View Cemetery. Viewing will take place Thursday, February 2nd from 5-7pm and Friday, February 3rd from 3-5pm at Mueller's Greenlee Funeral Home 1608 W. Court St. Pasco. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jim's name can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 1403 S. Grand Blvd, Suite 202 South, Spokane, WA 99203 "Swanda Care Team" or the New Men's Facility Building Fund at the Pasco Union Gospel Mission (www.tcugm.org). For online condolences please visit www.muellers funeralhomes.com The family would like to thank you all for your love and support during this time.
Funeral Home
Mueller's Greenlee Funeral Home
1608 West Court Street
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 547-3316
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Published in Tri-City Herald from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2017