Rev. Dr. Kenneth (Ken) H. Swanberg
July 13, 1930-September 18, 2020
MOLINE-The Rev. Dr. Kenneth (Ken) H. Swanberg, 90, of Moline, passed away, Friday, September 18, 2020, at New Perspective, Silvis.
The family would like to thank the staff of New Perspective and Compassus Hospice nurses for their compassionate care.
Private family services will be held at this time due to Covid. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, September 21, 2020, at Esterdahl Mortuary and Crematory, Ltd., Moline. Burial will be on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at Moline Memorial Park, open for the public with the family's arrival between 11:30-12:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (1100 E 55th St, Chicago, IL, 60615).
Kenneth Swanberg was born on July 13, 1930 in Jamestown, NY, the son of P. Herman and Esther L. (Fagerlund) Swanberg. He graduated from Jamestown High School in 1948 and was known as a "math brain" and a "swell kid". He then went to Upsala College where he received his B.A. Ken married Josephine Hattie Carter on March 28, 1953, in Jamestown, NY. Ken went on to receive his master's degree in 1972 and later his Doctor of Ministry in 1977 studying the effects of "justification to mental health" from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Ken graduated from Augustana Theological Seminary in May 1956 where he was also ordained. During seminary he served as student pastor in Stratford, IA and Stronghurst, IL. Interned at Emmanuel and Messiah Lutheran Churches. He was a Seminary Pastor at Messiah Lutheran in Assiniboia, Sask, Canada. Parishes he served included, Advent Lutheran Church in Wyckoff, N.J., Mamrelund Lutheran Church, Kent City, MI., Tabor Lutheran Church, Chicago, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Freeport, IL, Calvary Lutheran Church, Moline, and Zion Lutheran Church, N. Henderson, IL. He also served interims including Ophiem, Manlius, 2 churches in Chicago, and Pearl City for 2 years.
Ken served on the New Jersey District Youth Committee as Chair. He served as N.J. District Secretary and Treasurer. In Chicago he was a member and later the VP of the South Shore Commission. Rev. Dr. Swanberg was included in Mayor Daley's initiative to facilitate the restoration of community peace amidst the late 1960's unrest. He was an advisory member of Chel-Win Community Organizations, and advisory board of Boy Scouts in Chicago. Ken was the V.P. of the Kiwanis Club South 540 in Chicago and President and Vice president of the South Shore ministerial organization in Chicago. He served as pastoral advisor to the Soya (45-50 young adults) who had various programs, service projects representing the churches of the south Chicago district churches for 3 years. Ken chaired a committee to form a hospital chaplaincy service at Freeport Memorial Hospital. The first step was organizing several pastors as volunteers from the community churches and train them for this responsibility. After moving to Moline, he helped to establish the same type of program at Moline Public Hospital. Pastor Swanberg was instrumental in the resettlement of refugees from Vietnam and the indigenous Hmong people of Laos, here in the quad cities and baptized many. Ken was appointed to serve on the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee in Freeport, where he later served on the advisory board. He also helped establish the first Sea Scout Post in Chicago. In Chicago Ken served on the Synod's Stewardship Committee in Michigan. Ken served as Camp Director for church camping for many years.
Ken earned a rank of Eagle Scout. He gave the dedication address and the prayer of dedication for the new water treatment plan in South Shore. Ken received an honor as "Teaching Pastor" in Moline. Ken was invited by the Swedish Archbishop to visit Sweden, giving a sermon in swedish. He served 3 weeks as a resource person for parish evangelism Uppsala province, and served communion in the Uppsala Cathedral at high assa.
Ken had many hobbies that he enjoyed. He loved watching sports whether it be the Cubs, Bears, and especially the Ohio State Buckeyes. He enjoyed camping in his Shasta trailers, picnics, just being outdoors, and was an avid chess player. Ken loved to travel, trips included Florida, Sweden, Colorado, taking cruises to Alaska, and Guatemala where he did his research for his Master's Degree. Ken loved and knew things most people would not know about the Civil War and World War II.
Survivors include his children, Jennifer Swanberg, Moline, Jeffrey (Michele) Swanberg, Springfield, Kenneth Erik (Debbie) Swanberg, Moline, Timothy Swanberg, DeKalb; 14 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine Swanberg, parents, 2 infant brothers and 1 nephew.
Memories may be shared online by visiting esterdahl.com.