Mervin "Merv" Swanson

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Mervin Swanson

Mervin “Merv” Swanson
April 22, 1921 • May 31, 2018

Mervin Swanson, 97, of North Branch, Minnesota (formerly of Benson) passed away Thursday, May 31 at his home.
Funeral services were held at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson, Sat., June 9 at 1 p.m. Visitation was one hour before the service.  A private burial service will be at a later date.

 Merv was born April 22, 1921 to Gust and Martha Swanson at their home in rural Swift County. He was baptized, confirmed, and had religious training.  Merv graduated from Benson High School in 1939. When he was 21 years old, as World War II was starting, he was drafted into the Army.

After basic training, his unit was sent on a secret mission. The soldiers were told they were going to Iran three days out at sea. The trip took two months - they never took their life jackets off all this while. They started in New York, traveled through the Panama Canal, and went around to come in to Iran from the east to bypass enemy fire. His Persian Gulf service command in the Middle East was to run a supply line to Russia. The freighter steamship, the SSMargaretta, was loaded with food and war supplies. Burning fuel oil to create the steam that ran the turbines that moved the ship, 210 soldiers traveled at 23 knots an hour, top speed. To avoid attention, they traveled without any other military escort. His trip home on a propeller plane brought him back to U.S. soil in Florida.
December 29, 1952, he married the love of his life, Carole Lunder. They have been married for 65 years, blessed with five children, 14 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

He was employed by the Benson school district as the transportation supervisor for 35 years.  After resigning that position, he continued driving bus, a job he loved, for 59 years total.  In the summer months Merv was self-employed with his own road construction work.

Being mechanically inclined, he was able to fix anything, and made many things out of metal - including his own gravel conveyor.

Merv was a kind, compassionate, positive, Christian man with a great sense of humor. He loved visiting with his family and friends. He enjoyed dancing with Carole at Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood and traveling. He loved meeting with his buddies for coffee and playing cards.

May 31, 2018 Merv passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Carole; his loving children: Tim (Nancy), Terry (Tami), RoxAnn, Todd (Michelle), and Pamela (Bill); grandchildren: Dustin, Eric, Brent, Joe, Aimee, Lewis, Tracey, Jessica, Andy, Tori, Harry, Billy, Tyler and Alli.; great grandchildren: Nikki, Ashley, Kiley, Ella, Sophia, Beau and Jace; and other friends and relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents and six siblings: Robert, Ray, Ethel, Elmer, Floyd and Vera. We will cherish our memories and blessing that we were able to have in our lives.

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