OBITUARY

Roger Swanson

28 April , 19164 February , 2019
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Roger Swanson April 28, 1916 – February 4, 2019

Roger passed away peacefully at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital on February 4, 2019 with family at this side. He had enjoyed 102 plus years of what he always described as a “very good life”.

Roger was born in Kenora on April 28, 1916 to Hulda and Conrad Swanson.

As a youngster, Roger enjoyed summers fishing with his Dad in their family-built boats and in winter, cross country skiing and ski jumping on skis fashioned by his Dad. He also shared many happy times with his sister Audrey.

Early in his life Roger began playing the violin and soon started a life long journey in the world of music. Roger became involved in the Kenora High School orchestra, both performing and conducting. In 1938 after graduating high school Roger attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto on scholarship where he began performing with the Conservatory Orchestra.

In 1941 his music education was interrupted for a bit while Roger enlisted in the RCAF and became an armaments instructor. It was here that Flight Sergeant Roger Swanson met the love of his life, Corporal Jane Blair. Jane and Roger married in 1943, raised two children and celebrated just short of 69 years as husband and wife.

Following the war Roger and Jane returned to Toronto where Roger continued his education at the Conservatory becoming Concert Master with the Conservatory Orchestra and obtaining his A.R.C.T. (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto).

Following graduation, Roger and Jane made Kenora their home. In 1948 Roger joined the Kenora School Board as Music Supervisor and over the years became Consultant, then Director and finally Co-Ordinator of the Music Program. Working with many dedicated teachers, he did his best to pass on a love of music to his young students through voice and instruments. Some of his private violin students went on to become very accomplished musicians. Very active in the Kenora District Festival of the Arts, Roger took great pride in his involvement with student choirs, school bands, violin students and the Bethesda Lutheran Church Choir; enjoying the position of choir director for 34 years. Roger took on the role of President of the Festival of the Arts from 1960 to 1962. Later in life Roger became part of the Kenora Strings and enjoyed sharing his love of music with other local musicians.

Roger’s other passions included golf and curling. At the age of nine, Roger was taken under the wing of the original Kenora Golf Club Professional, Jack Vernon, who taught him the foundation of his future golf game. Many wonderful afternoons were spent with close friends on the links and family golf trips were a yearly event. His dedication to the game garnered him two Club Championships and a Senior Championship. Roger spent many years as skip of his Kenora Curling Club team and after retirement joined the Senior Men’s league in Keewatin.

Roger was predeceased by his loving wife Jane in 2012.

Roger is survived by son Blair and his partner Muoi, daughter Dale and son-in-law Ken MacKenzie and many beloved nieces and nephews and their families.

The family would like to thank Jan Robertson and Dad’s Supportive Housing family at Benediction Court for their care and compassion and for making independent living possible for so long.

Thank you also to the doctors and 3rd floor nursing staff at Lake of the Woods District Hospital for their dedication and gentle care in Dad’s final days.

A memorial service in celebration of Roger’s life will be held at Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Centre on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 1:00 p.m., Rev. Meg Illman-White officiating. Refreshments and reminiscences will follow at the Clarion Lakeside Inn. Cremation has taken place and the family will hold a private interment at a future date.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that anyone wishing to honour Roger do so by way of a donation to the charity of one’s choice.

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much”

Online condolences may be made at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com

BROWN FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE ENTRUSTED WITH ARRANGEMENTS.

Services

  • Celebration of Life Friday, 15 February , 2019
REMEMBERING

Roger Swanson

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James Irish

20 February 2019

I, am one of the lucky teachers that had Roger to guide us in the classroom. He was a true gentleman with tremendous professional skills. Thank you Roger for showing me how much fun and learning could be used in a classroom .

Arnold Zeal

15 February 2019

I have wonderful and very fond memories of Roger. Like so many others, I was so privileged to have him visit our classes at Central School. I also (begrudgingly) took violin lessons. Will never forget walking over the bridge to lakeside when there was freezing cold wind off the lake. Recall the house near Southward School always had a bottle of Air-Wick on the stairs; the odor has stuck with me all these yrs. Roger was amazingly patient with me despite my not being much of a violin student. I also recall that during exceptionally busy times of year he frequently helped out selling clothes for my father at Zeal and Gold. Roger was such a kind and gentle person whom I deeply respected and was very fond of (despite my not really wanting to do violin). Love perusing thru the numerous photos; they bring back great memories. Looks like he had a wonderful life and has a terrific family. He was such a great person and will be dearly missed. RIP.

Loris Letain

12 February 2019

Mr. Swanson was such a gentleman. It was always a pleasure to see and speak with him.

Pat Fair

11 February 2019

My sincere condolences on the passing of Roger, a precious, gentle man.

Marjorie Zimmer (nee Drew)

10 February 2019

So very sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Swanson. I remember him fondly from my attendance at King George School. My spouse Paul Jackson (son of shop teacher Fred Jackson at Lakewood) remembers him from Northward School. It is our recollection that Roger was very much a gentleman and a great music teacher. Our sincerest condolences to the family in the loss of your loved one.

Cherie Larson

8 February 2019

First of all from my dad: Pastor Jack Larson (Pastor of Bethesda Lutheran Church when Roger was choir director): My memory is a little faded as it's more than 40 years since we left Kenora. I remember Roger as a gifted musician who directed our church choir for many years, winning some prizes, and playing his violin for special music many times each year, all as a volunteer. I remember Roger as my daughter's first violin teacher who arranged for me to buy her first violin for a nominal fee. He gave me regular updates on her lessons while praising her talent and
discipline. I remember Roger playing his violin for special music many times each year, all as a volunteer.
I remember our joint dismay when one Good Friday our new organist played as a prelude, "Jesus Christ is risen today". I remember Roger as disciplined, reliable, interested and helpful to others -- a genuine Christian

My first memory of Roger Swanson was at Bethesda Lutheran Church at a church supper. He and my dad were talking and Roger Swanson asked me to lift up my hand and spread it out: Mr. Swanson told my dad 1/4 size.
Then unbeknownst to me, I was signed up for violin lessons. Each Sunday I would watch my mom sing in the senior choir at Bethesda Lutheran Church that was conducted by Roger Swanson. Every Thursday in the choir robe room, I would have my violin lessons with Roger Swanson. At some point, I was convinced I wanted to become
„just like my teacher when I grew up“..Well, half-a-century later, here I am teaching violin and viola privately and in a group and school setting and also working with choirs and being a church musician: dearest Roger Swanson, I do hope that you know what an incredible influence you were on me: still playing a half a century later, still doing what YOU inspired me to do 50+ years ago: being a musician for life.Thank you for leading such a beautiful simple musical life in God‘s service and thank you for inspiring me to do the same! Forever indebted!

kathryn johnston

7 February 2019

I was so sorry to hear about Dad, Dale. I had heard he was in the hospital and not doing well.. My sympathy to you and you husband and Blair.
The pictures are a great memory. I remember "Grandpa and Grandma Swanson" so well too, so
was glad to see them as I remember them. Our family was lucky to have your family as neighbours and friends.
Your Dad's legacy as a music teacher, choir director and his lovely tenor voice will not be forgotten by those of us who knew him.
Kath

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Biography

Roger Swanson
April 28, 1916 – February 4, 2019

Roger passed away peacefully at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital on February 4, 2019 with family at this side. He had enjoyed 102 plus years of what he always described as a “very good life”.

Roger was born in Kenora on April 28, 1916 to Hulda and Conrad Swanson.

As a youngster, Roger enjoyed summers fishing with his Dad in their family-built boats and in winter, cross country skiing and ski jumping on skis fashioned by his Dad. He also shared many happy times with his sister Audrey.

Early in his life Roger began playing the violin and soon started a life long journey in the world of music. Roger became involved in the Kenora High School orchestra, both performing and conducting. In 1938 after graduating high school Roger attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto on scholarship where he began performing with the Conservatory Orchestra.

In 1941 his music education was interrupted for a bit while Roger enlisted in the RCAF and became an armaments instructor. It was here that Flight Sergeant Roger Swanson met the love of his life, Corporal Jane Blair. Jane and Roger married in 1943, raised two children and celebrated just short of 69 years as husband and wife.

Following the war Roger and Jane returned to Toronto where Roger continued his education at the Conservatory becoming Concert Master with the Conservatory Orchestra and obtaining his A.R.C.T. (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto).

Following graduation, Roger and Jane made Kenora their home. In 1948 Roger joined the Kenora School Board as Music Supervisor and over the years became Consultant, then Director and finally Co-Ordinator of the Music Program. Working with many dedicated teachers, he did his best to pass on a love of music to his young students through voice and instruments. Some of his private violin students went on to become very accomplished musicians. Very active in the Kenora District Festival of the Arts, Roger took great pride in his involvement with student choirs, school bands, violin students and the Bethesda Lutheran Church Choir; enjoying the position of choir director for 34 years. Roger took on the role of President of the Festival of the Arts from 1960 to 1962. Later in life Roger became part of the Kenora Strings and enjoyed sharing his love of music with other local musicians.

Roger’s other passions included golf and curling. At the age of nine, Roger was taken under the wing of the original Kenora Golf Club Professional, Jack Vernon, who taught him the foundation of his future golf game. Many wonderful afternoons were spent with close friends on the links and family golf trips were a yearly event. His dedication to the game garnered him two Club Championships and a Senior Championship. Roger spent many years as skip of his Kenora Curling Club team and after retirement joined the Senior Men’s league in Keewatin.

Roger was predeceased by his loving wife Jane in 2012.

Roger is survived by son Blair and his partner Muoi, daughter Dale and son-in-law Ken MacKenzie and many beloved nieces and nephews and their families.

The family would like to thank Jan Robertson and Dad’s Supportive Housing family at Benediction Court for their care and compassion and for making independent living possible for so long.

Thank you also to the doctors and 3rd floor nursing staff at Lake of the Woods District Hospital for their dedication and gentle care in Dad’s final days.

A memorial service in celebration of Roger’s life will be held at Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Centre on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 1:00 p.m., Rev. Meg Illman-White officiating. Refreshments and reminiscences will follow at the Clarion Lakeside Inn. Cremation has taken place and the family will hold a private interment at a future date.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that anyone wishing to honour Roger do so by way of a donation to the charity of one’s choice.

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much”

Online condolences may be made at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com

BROWN FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE ENTRUSTED WITH ARRANGEMENTS.