Raymond Harry Swanson, 84, passed away on August 11, 2018 in his home in Mesquite, NV as he was surrounded by his loving family. Ray was born on January 20, 1934 in Minneapolis, MN to Raymond Peter Swanson and Bernice May Hallenbeck. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1952 and joined the U.S. Air Force. Thanks to the training and diligence of his fellow airmen, he survived several plane crashes. A year after joining the service, he married his high school sweetheart Lois Hempel on February 15, 1953. They had five children together and were later divorced. After moving to Illinois, Ray married Diane Mary Peterson on July 2, 1965 in Winfield, IL and they had three children. He was a member of the Moose Lodge in Minnesota and in Illinois. Ray retired from General Mills in W. Chicago, IL after twenty-six years. After moving to Mesquite, NV, Ray took a job as a security officer at the Casa Blanca Casino, which he loved for the opportunity to be around people and talk with them.
While he lived in Minnesota and Illinois, he enjoyed coaching sports for many years, such as bowling and softball. He shared his love for the MN Vikings with his children, even though they spent much of their lives in Chicago Bear country. He also enjoyed being outdoors while hunting and fishing. Ray was a loving husband and father. He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. Ray loved dancing and listening to his wife play the accordion. A favorite past-time of his was to garden, especially roses. For the last thirty-two years of his life, Ray devoted himself to Alcoholics Anonymous, helping others overcome alcohol addiction.
Ray is survived by his wife, Diane Swanson of Mesquite, NV, his children; Leonard Swanson of Houston, TX, Deborah (Duane) Setering of W. St. Paul, MN, Randall Swanson of Las Vegas, NV, Judith Swanson of Providence Village, TX, Sandra (Tom) Dial of Tulsa, OK, Lisa (Bob) Longacre of Birchwood, WI, Sherry (Mike) Saffer of Lehigh Acres, FL, and Bradley (Erika) Swanson of Mesquite, NV, and seventeen grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren (with two on the way!). He is preceded in death by his parents; Raymond and Bernice Swanson, and his sister; Evelyn Bull.
There will be Visitation services in Mesquite, NV at the Virgin Valley Mortuary on August 25, 2018 beginning at 5:00 p.m. followed by a Memorial Service at 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation to the Alzheimers Research at www.alzfdn.org. The family has invited you to leave a message or memory in their Guest Book at www.virginvalleymortuary.com.
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