Norman Swanson

October 4, 1930November 24, 2016
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Norman Swanson

Norman Paul Swanson, 86 passed away Thursday, November 24, 2016 at his home in Indian Shores, Florida. Norman was born October 4, 1930 to Verner and Thada Swanson in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest of 3 children. Norman married his beloved wife and best friend Mary in 1974. Mary passed away on August 4, 2016. Norman had a remarkable sports career and many honors. He was inducted into the Schurz High School Sport Hall of Fame, University of Detroit Sport Hall of Fame and Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. He was given a full scholarship at the University of Detroit for sports. He was chosen by the U of D student body three times as the Athlete of the Year for track and basketball. Norman played in the best basketball conference in the country at that time, The Missouri Valley Conference. He was high scorer in the conference for 2 years, second high scorer in the conference for 1 year and All Conference for 3 years. Norman played with the All-American All-Stars against the Harlem Globe Trotters and Minnesota Lakers. He played in the East/West All Star Game in Madison Square Garden. Norman was chosen for the All-American Basketball Team in 1951 and 1952. He was chosen for the Legends Basketball Team at the University of Detroit. Norman was drafted in the 2nd round of the NBA draft by the Rochester Royals. After leaving the NBA, Norman began his long career in city sales at the Stroh Brewery Company in Detroit, Michigan. He eventually became Vice President of Sales at Stroh’s and retired after 43 years of loyal service. He was very well known and had many friends in the beer business industry. Norman loved to spend time with his family and friends. He really enjoyed fishing, going to the shooting range, watching old movies and watching sports. He loved to gamble on sports and the horses. He was an avid reader and had a great memory. He was Vice President of the Good Sport Foundation in Detroit for 15 years. Norman was the patriarch of our entire family and will be greatly missed. Norman is survived by his daughter, Susan (Elton) Rothwell; son, Vern (Cindy) Swanson; daughter Karen (Ron) Rice; sister, Nancy (Russ) Vanselow and his 12 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Catherine Swanson who passed away in 1968, his sister Jacqueline Krumwiede, his niece Kimberly Krumwiede, his nephew Russell Vanselow and his parents. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, December 4, at 10:00am for visitation and service at 11:00 am at Serenity Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Good Sports gives kids nationwide the benefits of sport and physical activity by providing new equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need. Those wishing to sign the guest book may do so online at:


  • Visitation Sunday, December 4, 2016
  • Memorial Service Sunday, December 4, 2016

Norman Swanson

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January 10, 2017

Norm and Mary were 2 of the greatest people we have ever met and funny too!! We will miss both.

Sandy and Larry Auge


December 7, 2016

I just heard about Norm for Greg Stroh here in Boulder CO:
Norm was the best leader an employee could ever have:
Having lived in Tampa for 11 years, we got to spend a fair amount of time together: my favorite, the traditional day after Thanksgiving Lunch:
Bob Vohnout
Stroh's 1978-1999
AKA the Hawk

Rick Swanson

December 2, 2016

On November 24th, my tribe lost it's Chief, my grandfather, Norm Swanson. To say this just affects my family would be a gross understatement. At 6'7, my grandpa reached out with his giant wingspan and touched the lives of so many people. My grandpa was larger than life both metaphorically and physically. He was a professional basketball player from the old days. Back when players didn't make millions every week, but they played for the love of the game and shot free throws via the potty shot method. He was a sales whiz for Stroh's Brewery. He was close friends with the Stroh's family and one of the most valued members of their organization. He was the greatest story teller I have ever encountered and am likely to ever encounter again. When he spoke, you listened. I mean you genuinely listened. Not like today when people just wait for you to stop talking so they can start. He commanded your attention with his wit and warmth. He refused to make his grandkids a sundae with less than 6 scoops of ice cream and he never missed an opportunity to tell you that he loved you. Sports, Beer, and Family were the greatest things in life to him. The culture of my family is forever shaped because of my grandfather. I am honored to have spent the days I had with him and I truly hope his spirit is somewhere better. Maybe he is with my grandma, laughing and poking at each other once more, only as best friends do. He was also my dad's best friend. He was a beloved husband. He was a a great grandfather. He was larger than life. He was my grandfather. I hope their is something more after this world, or that time is circular, because one way or another I hope to see him again.

If you are lucky enough to be spending today with your family, give them an extra big hug and celebrate your moments together. Norm celebrated his family every day and his stories will not end here. They will continue to be told through our tribe for generations to come. You will live on in our words and in our hearts. We are his legacy. We are his continued story. We love you, we miss you, and we will forever celebrate you Grandpa.

Your Grandson, Rick

Cindy Carpenter

December 1, 2016

Sending our deepest sympathies to the Swanson Family.. thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time.

Seth Sobczak

December 1, 2016

Great Grandpa Swanson was a Great Man. He was loved by so many. I can't believe you are gone. It doesn't feel real, it was only a couple of weeks ago I was listening to you telling me about Vin Scully and the Dodgers. And your youth with the Cubbies at Wrigley Field. Papa I miss hearing your Story's. Your Voice , Your Big Hugs. Your guidance in life. You telling me how proud you were of me. I wish I could hear more Story's. I wish I could hear your voice. You were the Ernie Harwell of our Family your were more than just a Famiy Member. I love you Papa. You are forever missed. "Hero's get remembered but Ledgends never die"

December 1, 2016

Will be remembered as a wonderful, caring friend to Jack and myself. Will miss both Mary and Norm.
Hope the 3 meet and reminisce about the old days at Stroh's.
Roma Warmington

Hunter Hastings

November 30, 2016

Norm took me under his wing when I was new to the beer industry and he was a well-loved veteran. We did good business and enjoyed great times together. A gentleman

Kate Harvey

November 30, 2016

The Great Man I ever met...My Grandfather (Papa) I know he's in heaven now with Gram, smiling and watching over us all, love you, and always miss you dearly.

Gary Condon

November 30, 2016

Norm was not only the best boss I ever had but one of the best human beings I ever had the privilege to know. He was a respected leader for all his teammates at Stroh's. Norm may you Rest in Peace.
God Bless!
Gary J. Condon

Ed DiPasquale

November 30, 2016

Norm was my boss at Stroh's Pittsburgh Zone Office in the 80's. He was respected and admired by all of his sales force. Always fair and available at any time. He was one of a kind and will be missed. Mary will be waiting at the Heavenly Stroh's office. Rest in Peace Norm.