Conrad L. Swanson - Mesa, Ariz.

PINE ISLAND — Conrad Leonard Swanson, age 89, passed away on Dec. 19, 2010, at Banner Gardens Hospice House, Mesa, Ariz.

Conrad was the first child born to Rubert and Julia Swanson on April 1, 1921. He graduated from St. Hilaire (Minn.) High School in 1939. He farmed with his father and also worked at the Thief River Falls Elevator until entering the U.S. Army in August 1942. He served in the medical corps operating rooms in Italy and France during WWII for three-and-a-half years. After his discharge, he worked at the St. Hilaire Creamery and was a noted centerfielder on the revered St. Hilaire city baseball team. He married Patricia Jackson in 1948.

Conrad managed the Gully Cooperative Creamery in Gully, Minn., and then managed the Land O' Lakes Plant in Ada, Minn. He transferred to the LOL Cheese Plant in Pine Island, where he was plant superintendent until he retired in 1985.

In every town in which he lived, he was very active in community service, serving on various boards and city councils for many years. He was a proud member of the American Legion and VFW for 64 years. He was most currently a member of Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa.

Baseball was in his blood, being an avid Twins and Diamondbacks fan. He also loved watching the Minnesota Vikings and the Phoenix Suns. Conrad spent his retirement in Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Mesa. During these years, he golfed with his good buddies at the Detroit Lakes Country Club and he belonged to the Dreamland Men’s Golf league in Mesa. He enjoyed his friends, gardening, and working out at the gym.

He leaves behind Pat, his wife of 62 years; his daughter, Linda of Mesa; sister Lorraine Johnston, San Mateo, Calif.; brother Roger (Beverly), Thief River Falls, Minn.; sister-in-law Fay Swanson, Desert Hot Springs, Calif.; several nieces and nephews; the Peterson girls and spouses of Minnesota, whom he considered as family; and little Shane and Gage Johnson, who called him their honorary grandpa.

Preceding him in death were his parents, his daughter Cheryl, sister Marjorie Deeble, brother Wallace, and brothers-in-law Stephen Johnston and Robert Deeble.

Services will be held at Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa on Jan. 8. Graveside services will be held at Ada Community Cemetery this summer.