James Robert Swanson, son of Carl Alfred and May (Butler) Swanson, was born on October 17, 1931 in Page County, Iowa.
James Robert Swanson, son of Carl Alfred and May (Butler) Swanson, was born on October 17, 1931 in Page County, Iowa. He entered into eternal rest on May 23, 2018 at the Fairfax Community Hospital in Fairfax, Missouri at the age of 86 years, 6 months, 6 days. His early life was mostly spent growing up in Shenandoah, Iowa. He attended the Shenandoah Community Schools and received his GED in 1984. Jim was in the Iowa National Guard from 1949 to 1950. He quit school before his Junior year and in July 1950, he joined the Army. During his three years of service with the Army, Jim was stationed in Japan, Korea and Manila. During the Korean Conflict, he served with the 110th Replacement Battalion, where he worked in the motorpool and was promoted to Truck Master and earned the rank of Sargeant. Jim was in Korea for a total of 14 months and was honorably discharged on August 1, 1953. On February 14, 1954, Jim was united in marriage to Evelyn Joyce Herzberg at Yorktown, Iowa. They made their home in Shenandoah where they raised their five children, Joyce, Diana, Nancy, Jamie and Robert. Jim worked for BF Goodrich and Firestone, retiring from Johnson Tire Co. in 1986 after 26 years. With a love for his country and true passion to serve, Jim rejoined the Shenandoah Army National Guard in 1971 where he served until 1981. Not quite done, Jim joined the Missouri Army National Guard Unit in Lexington, serving from 1986 to 1992. In 1991, at the age of 60, he went to the jungles of Panama for two weeks with his Lexington unit. He retired from the Army National Guard in November of 1992 after 20 years and 1 day of service to his beloved country. Jim stated, "With all my travels out of the country I always looked for the American Flag, that was where home was." Through his years of service, Jim received the following medals: Army Commendation Medal, Korean Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, United Nations Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (3rd award), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2nd award), Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, and Missouri National Guard Long Service Ribbon. In his spare time, Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening. He took great pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren following their activities. He also enjoyed going to the Omaha Lancers Hockey games with his son and daughter-in-law. He was a long time member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Shenandoah and was a member of the Shenandoah American Legion Post #88, serving as Post Commander in 1971. Preceding Jim in death were his beloved wife of 49 years, Evelyn; his parents; three sisters, Marjorie Bright, Verna Cain and Phyllis Richardson; and father and mother-in-law, Adolph and Clara Herzberg. Left to cherish his memory are his five children, Joyce (John) Hall of Chillicothe, MO, Diana (Danny) Hayes of Omaha, NE, Nancy (David) Sorensen of Essex, IA, Jamie (David) Nenneman of Sidney, IA and Robert (Jill) Swanson of Shenandoah, IA; 10 grandchildren, John Jr (Alison) Hall of Kearney, MO, Jeremy (Amanda) Hall, Joshua Hall and Jordan (Emily Jo) Hall, all of Chillicothe, MO, Dana (Chris) Mathiasen of Omaha, NE, Doug (Mara) Hayes of Omaha, NE, Deanna (Drew) Palmer of Tekamah, NE, Denise Hayes (Mason Kyle) of Omaha, NE, Erin Sorensen of Kansas City, MO and Luke Sorensen of Westbrooke, ME; great grandchildren, Brooklyn Hall, Samantha and JW Swafford, Sarah, Emily Ann, Megan and Isaac Hall, Montana and Adelynn Hall, Kathryn Jo, Henry James and Ellyn Marie Mathiasen and Raelle Cera Hayes; brother, John Swanson of Des Moines, IA; cousin, Muriel Younggren of Hallock, MN; nieces and nephews; other relatives and many friends. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm at the Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Service in Shenandoah. Burial took place in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah with military rites accorded by the Shenandoah American Legion Post #88.