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In loving memory of
Gerald Swenson
  • April 08, 1945
  • -
  • November 03, 2020

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Obituary

Gerald “Jerry” Swenson died peacefully at home surrounded by family on November 3, 2020 in Port Orange at the age of 75.

Jerry is survived by his wife Judith of 55 years; adult children Samuel (Lynn) Swenson of Port Orange, FL, Matthew (Michelle) Swenson of Kansas City, MO, Sarah (Sean) Maroney of Port Orange, FL; grand children Tyler Swenson, Mattie Ann Swenson, Tanner Swenson, Vivian Swenson, Dylan Maroney and Thomas Swenson; his siblings, James (Barbara) Swenson of Willmar, MN, Judy Ann (Gary) Swenson of Rochester, MN, Douglas (Sheila) Swenson of Spicer, MN, Milton (Kim Nichols) Swenson of Spicer, MN, Virginia (Jim) Bauman of Farmington, MN; sister-in-law Marguerite Swenson of Spicer, MN.  He is preceded in death by his parents Roland and Vivian Swenson of Willmar, MN; his brother Rollie (Roland) Swenson of Willmar, MN.

Jerry was born on April 8, 1945 in Willmar, MN to Roland and Vivian Swenson. He married Judith K Johnson, his high school sweetheart in 1964. He graduated from Concordia College in 1967 with a degree in Psychology.  After moving to Worthington, MN Jerry began working for the State of Minnesota as a rehabilitation counselor. His passion for helping people led him to Bemidji, MN where he took over as the director of North Central Inc. a facility dedicated to employing those individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.  In 1975, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to buy Core Craft Inc the manufacturer of the celebrated Core Craft Canoe, which he later expanded into manufacturing fiberglass reinforced plastic parts for several larger companies.  During their years in Bemidji, Jerry and Judy raised three children, Samuel, Matthew and Sarah. Jerry ended his working career in Omaha, NE as the owner of Classic Marble a cultured marble manufacturing business that served the Omaha construction market.  He retired in 2008 when he sold Classic Marble to his nephew, Jeff Swenson.

Jerry was an avid outdoorsman and passed on his love of hunting and fishing to his children as well as creating a wonderful hunting destination near Bemidji which he aptly named “Paradise”.  Throughout the years, he hosted family and friends on many hunting weekends at Paradise and created many treasured memories in the process.  Jerry served the Bemidji community in many ways during his years there: employer, active member of the Evangelical Covenant Church, Chairman of the Bemidji School Board.  He is remembered for his generosity to others, his willingness to help anybody in need and the many friendships created over decades of caring for and helping others.   He valued these relationships above any other accomplishments in his life and was richly blessed to receive a tremendous outpouring of love during his last months from so many of the people who he touched throughout his rich life.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date in Minnesota.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Halifax Health – Hospice, Fund Development, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129 (online: https://halifaxhealth.org/services-treatments/our-services/continuingcare/hospice-2/giving/donation-portal).  The family would like to thank Halifax Health Hospice in Port Orange and Visiting Angels for their care and dedication.


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  1. 17 Nov 2020
    Claudia J Sundquist lit a candle:
    Lit since November 17, 2020 at 11:14:21 PM

  2. 14 Nov 2020
    Mike Lish and Sharon Lish says:
    To Judy and all of Jerry's family:
    Can't tell you how many times over the years we have thought of all of you since you left Bemidji. Have kept track of you through Jim and LaMae Ritchie. They are our neighbors. We have memories of Jerry through Core Craft but mostly through the years of basketball at Bemidji High School. And I remember all the "kids"-Sam, Matt, Michelle, and Sarah! And I remember how Jerry helped me keep perspective on basketball games and players on the road trips we took together to out of town games.
    We are the "older" generation now and Judy, I'm so glad you have supportive family around you. We are sincerely sorry for your loss.
    Mike and Sharon Lish

  3. 13 Nov 2020
    Wes Kinneberg says:
    To the whole family of Jerry, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. I met Jerry when he took over Core Craft, and called on him for many years. Met Judy, Sam, and Matt at Core Craft as well. Had the pleasure of meeting Sarah also. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Jerry every three weeks, on my monthly trips to Bemidji for work. Jerry was always a very positive person and it seemed like he thoroughly enjoyed running his business. He will be dearly missed by so many people. God Bless all of you and take care! Wes Kinneberg with Acme Tools, Inc.

  4. 11 Nov 2020
    Tom trihey says:
    Our sincere condolences to the Swenson family. I have lots of memories of Jerry from the youth hockey days. We’ll keep your family in your prayers.

    Tom & Faye Trihey

  5. 09 Nov 2020
    Rich Jaranson says:
    Was sad to see the notice of Jerry's passing. We were friends during the days of Core Craft and the years in Jaycee's together. Many hunting trips and meetings at the Elks Club. Poker games and adult beverages. Many many great memories. He was one of the good guys.

  6. 09 Nov 2020
    Michael Lytle lit a candle:
    Lit since November 9, 2020 at 11:43:07 PM

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