Donald Lee Swanson, 76, from Hudson, passed away on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the Cedar Valley Hospice House following a courageous ten-year battle with prostate cancer, surrounded by his devoted family.
Don was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, on September 25, 1947, to Herman and Dorothy (Apgar) Swanson. He spent his formative years in Quarry, Iowa, and graduated from LDF (Le Grand, Dunbar, Ferguson) High School in 1965. Post-graduation, he pursued his education at Marshalltown Community College, where he met his beloved wife of 53 years, Janet West. Don furthered his studies at Iowa State University, earning a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1971.
Commencing his professional journey at Western Electric in Omaha, he concurrently served in the Army Reserves. In 1976, Don embarked on a career with John Deere in Waterloo, relocating his family to Hudson. With a remarkable tenure spanning 33 years, he concluded his service as the Manager of Factory Automation, cherishing the friendships fostered during his time.
Don’s spiritual roots were established at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Marshalltown. Residing in Hudson, the family actively participated in the Hudson Community Church, where Don held various roles. His civic engagement extended to membership in the Hudson Lions Club, where he served as President, contributed as a board member at the Hudson Library, and served as Treasurer for the Computer and Automated Systems Association for many years.
Don and Janet enjoyed thirty years as Iowa State Cyclone football season ticket holders, weaving countless cherished memories while tailgating with family and friends before each game. Don’s enthusiasm extended to navigating the parking lots on his Segway, adding a unique flair to the pre-game festivities.
His zest for life included a love for country concerts and cruises, having traversed the Panama Canal, explored Hawaii, and relished in the fusion of country music and cruising. Estes Park, Colorado held a special place in Don and Janet’s hearts, becoming a tradition from their marriage till the present. His passion for the mountains was contagious, passed down to his children and grandchildren, always informing them the distance to the nearest gas station or next rest area.
Above all, Don found immeasurable joy in his nine grandchildren, proudly boasting about their accomplishments at any given chance. Whether it was cheering at sporting events, attending music or Christmas concerts, or simply being a steadfast presence in their lives, Don prioritized their happiness and growth.
Don leaves behind his beloved wife, Janet, and their children: Brent (Sarah) Swanson, of Ames, Brian (Jackie) Swanson, of Valparaiso, Indiana, and Britt (Ted) Mikels, of Waterloo. He is survived by grandchildren: Alyssa, Brennan and Camdyn Swanson, Nathaniel, Clara and Charlie Swanson, as well as Aspen, Summer and Creighton Mikels. His memory lives on through his brother, Dean (Marge) Swanson, of Isle of Palms, South Carolina; sisters, Joann (Rejean) Chartier, of Fallbrook, California, Donna Oetker, of Ankeny, Joyce (Roni) Burns, of Bolivar, Missouri; brother-in-law, Gary (Cindy) West, of Marshalltown; and father-in-law, Vernon West, along with a niece and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his parents and mother-in-law, Marie West.
Funeral Services: 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 300 W. Main St., with burial in Riverside Cemetery, both in Marshalltown. Visitation: 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Monday, November 20, 2023, at Locke at Tower Park, 4140 Kimball Ave., Waterloo, and for one-hour prior to the services at the church. Memorials can be given to the family to be distributed between the Central Christian Church, Hudson Public Library, and Lions Club. Condolences may be left at www.LockeFuneralServices.com. Locke at Tower Park, 319-233-3146, is assisting the family.