William (Bill) Donald Swanson, of Kirkwood, Missouri, passed away at Highland Park Senior Living in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on September 18, 2021.
He was preceded in death earlier this year by his wife of 66 years, Shirley M. Swanson, and is survived by his three children: Kristin L. Swanson (Mac Prichard), William C. Swanson (Kathy Swanson), and Matthew L. Swanson (Ashley Taylor Swanson). He was grandfather to William M. Swanson (Devora Swanson), Adam C. Swanson (Meaghan Steele Swanson), Elena V. Swanson, and Leif E. Swanson; and great-grandfather to Lily A. Swanson, Wyatt W. Swanson, Gwenyth R. Swanson, and William E. Swanson.
Bill was born in Columbia, Missouri on February 20, 1930 to William O. and Meryl Johnson Swanson. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1952. From 1953-1954, Bill served in the Korean Conflict as a company commander and later as a first lieutenant.
After Bill returned from the war, he and Shirley moved frequently and lived in Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and Pennsylvania. He completed graduate classes in metallurgy at the University of Pittsburgh while working for a National Steel research laboratory in Weirton, WV from 1964-1974. Bill ended his career at Granite City Steel in Granite City, Illinois, where he acted as vice president and general manager from 1984-1990.
Bill was an avid hunter and fisherman and a talented cultivator of plants of all kinds, both edible and inedible. He was especially famous for his tomatoes. Bill had a lively sense of curiosity and could talk to almost anyone on almost any topic. His family especially enjoyed his irreverent and creative sense of humor. Bill was a big believer in taking care of family, and his family is proud and honored to have been able to take care of him in his final years.
No services are planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Circle of Concern Food Pantry, 112 St. Louis Avenue, Valley Park, MO 63088 or to Community Christian Church, 623 Meramec Station Road, Manchester, MO 63021.
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