Edward Leroy Swanson, Jr. passed away at his home, Thursday, January 25, 2018, while surrounded by his wife and loved ones. He was born May 14, 1935 in Sparland, Illinois to Edward Leroy and Ethel Loraine (Moore) Swanson.
He married his “movie star”, Josephine Fulkerson on June 29, 1957. From this union three children were born. Ronnie (Sherrie) Swanson, Mona (Rodney) Brown, and David Swanson who died in infancy. Also, one niece and two nephews whom they raised from a young age and were considered as their own children. Angie (Donnie) Stacey, Shawn (Jennifer) Murphy, and Chris (Trish) Murphy.
Sixteen grandkids, eight great-grandkids, and one great-grandkid on the way, were produced from the five children. Papaw couldn’t always remember their names but would call them Butch, Little Britches, Monkey, or Little Movie Star, along with special nicknames for some. Grandkids are Caleb (Teris) Swanson, Leah Swanson, Lana Swanson, Josh (Megan) Harrison, Holly (Roth) Clayton, Matthew Brown, Misty Brown, Jacob Brown, Amy Stacey, Teri (Michael) Charleton, Derek (Jillian) Stacey, Ethan Murphy, Haleigh Murphy, Madison Murphy, Tucker Murphy, Braxton Murphy. Great-grandkids are Riley Harrison, Tessa Harrison, Aubri Harrison, Aadyn Harrison, Elias Harrison, Meyer Clayton, Connor Charleton, Hadley Charleton, and Blakely Stacey, who is on the way.
Other survivors include, his wife of 60 years, Josephine Swanson; two sisters, Shirley Carson and Alice Tyson; a host of nieces and nephews; and many, many special friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son David Swanson; one brother, Paul Swanson; and one sister Judy McClary.
They moved to Herod in 1972 after retiring from Hyster’s in Peoria. He also worked at Smithland Lock and Dam, AJax, and retired as a carpenter alongside two of his brothers-in-law.
He spent his retirement days spoiling his grandkids and not giving a “dad-burn” about anything. He always said his grandkids got their good looks from him. He spent a lot of time talking to his cows. He was chief in his barn, but always said mother (Josephine) was boss. He had “his chair”, “his glass”, and said he had to live on $20 a week because “that’s all mother would give him”. He saw all the John Wayne movies, but would turn one on and say, “I don’t think I saw that one!” Until his eyesight got worse, he loved reading cowboys books, mostly Louis L’Amour.
His smile was bright and beautiful, his heart was as big as mountains, and he will definitely be missed by all.
A visitation was held on January 26, 2018 at Weirauch Funeral Home in Harrisburg Illinois. His funeral service and celebration of life took place on January 27, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Elizabethtown, Illinois.