Itsuko Swanson

25 August, 19244 October, 2020

Itsuko Omura”Molly” Swanson, passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, October 4, 2020. Born August 25, 1924 in Nagoya, Japan, she was the daughter of the late Keijiro and Kiyo Omura of Japan.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of about 40 years, Charles Ray “R.C.” Swanson; one brother, one sister and her first husband, CPL Billy R. Carroll, Sr.

Itsuko was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and loyal friend. She was an avid reader, great cook, nature lover, enjoyed needle work and never missed a chance to spend time with friends. Upon her arrival in the United States, she quickly had to learn the customs and acceptable ways of her new country. Not only cooking, but also the type of foods, was just one of the many obstacles she overcame to adjust to her new country. “Molly” and her late husband R.C. owned and operated Swanson’s Clothing and Swanson’s Antiques and Collectables in Newton.

She was enrolled to begin college when World War II started. Her desire to attend college was interrupted when she was assigned to work in an aircraft factory in Japan. Her father, who was a submarine naval officer, was killed in action during that war.

Those left to cherish her memories are: sons Charles Michael Swanson and Billy Robert Carroll, Jr; daughters Rita Goble and husband Donald, Judy Carroll Gill; grandchildren Tina Carroll of Conover, Holly Gordon of Rupert, VT, Tyler Carroll and wife Alexandra of Lexington, SC, Tori Carroll of Columbia, SC, Teagan Jablonski and husband US Army Sgt. John of Cameron, NC, Taylor Carroll of Conover, NC, Heather Kelina Gill of Charleston SC, Corey David Gill of Colorado Springs CO, Chad Jeffery Gill and wife Donna of Virginia Beach VA, Allison Beard and husband David, Hannah Goble and Austin Goble; great grandchildren Kodi Gill, Kenni Gill Garrett and husband Aaron , Christopher David Gill, Haleigh Victoria Gill, Selena Renee Gill , Ciara Jade Gill, Shterna Gordon, Chedva Gordon, Yosef Gordon, YaaKov Gordon, Lele Gordon, Connor Carroll, Lucas Brandon, Micah Jablonski, Kamelah Oates, Akina Goble, Corrie Kiante Hill and great-great grandson Alistair Killian Garrett

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, October 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm at Willis- Reynolds Funeral Home Chapel, 56 Northwest Blvd, Newton NC. Retired Japanese Minister of Language Services, Kenji Takami of Carmel Baptist Church, Matthews, NC will be the officiant.

The family will receive friends prior to the service at Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home from 2:00-2:45 pm on Friday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Carolina Caring, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658 or American Diabetes Association P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield , VA 22116

Condolences may be sent to the Swanson family at

Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to be serving the Swanson family.

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Hiroko Childers

October 8, 2020


Thank you so much for your love, friendship, and smiles.
Whoever knows you is your friend. You adopted many Japanese who met you as your daughter, grand daughter, and grandson.

I will never ever forget you called me in Japan just to say "I love you!" I miss your smile, laughter, and hugs. Until we meet again.

Please rest in peace.

Debra Bishop

October 8, 2020

So sorry to hear of your mother's passing. She was such a beautiful and kind person. I remember her being such a hard worker every time I was in her store. I know she will be greatly missed by so many!

david gill

October 7, 2020

Molly (Itsuko) was very admirable in how she became an american but retained her heritage. Will miss her even though I haven't seen her in person for many years. Have seen her on facebook and have admired her since I first met her. Sorry for the families loss.


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