Loren E. Swanson

August 3, 1923March 17, 2013

Swanson, Loren Ernest of North Oaks, Minnesota, passed away in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, on March 17, 2013, following a long illness at age 89.

Born in St. Paul on August 3, 1923, to Ernest W. Swanson and Marie Peterson Swanson, he had two sisters who predeceased him: Bonnevieve Opel and Arlene Strom Braaten. He graduated from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis in 1941 and from the University of Minnesota in electrical engineering in 1944. He served in the Navy during WWII as an electronics maintenance officer, Lt. (JG), for a division of destroyer escorts in the Pacific Theater. Discharged in 1946, he received an MBA from the University of Minnesota in 1948. He married Arlene Anderson in 1949 (d.1993) and is survived by four children: Karna (Philip) Anderson, Charlene (Bruce) Bostrom, Kurt (Carla) Swanson, and Lisa (Bill) Miller, and by nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He married Sally Wennberg in 1995, who survives him. They made their winter home in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Mr. Swanson founded Central Engineering Company (Cenco) in Minneapolis in 1949 and built test facilities for turbojet engines around the world. He sold Cenco in 1997 and retired in 1999 at age 76.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 6, 4:00 p.m. at Boutwells Landing, 5600 Norwich Pkwy, Oak Park Heights, MN 55082, in the Swanson Memorial Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation or to the Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Foundation. Peace to his memory.


Loren E. Swanson

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


April 6, 2013

Char, thinking of you as you celebrate your dad's life. Hope you are all doing well. Many blessings, The Goodmans

Karin Andersson

April 3, 2013

Dear Karna,

My deepest symphaty for the loss of your father. Karin

Roger and Jan Clemons

April 3, 2013

Our deepest sympathy to the Swanson family. Loren will be deeply missed by all of us. He was unique in his ability to blend business and personal relationships across cultures and throughout the world. He was a great leader for us at Cenco and a mentor in our lives.

Web Thompson

April 2, 2013

I met Loren at the University of Minnesota where we both studied Electrical Engineering from 1941 to 1944. We were 2 of only 7 students that took an accelerated course as civilians to enable us to earn our BEE degree in two years and 10 months and avoided being drafted. We made our draft board happy by immediately volunteering as Ensigns in the U.S. Navy.

We then studied pre radar at Princeton and then radar at MIT after which we were assigned to picket duty in the Pacific, and we have kept in close touch ever since. In May of 1999, Loren invited me to join him on a week's cruise in his power boat up the intercoastal waterway from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore and again in May of 2000 for another week from Baltimore up the Hudson river to Albany. These jaunts were part of Loren's successful effort to complete what they call "the great circle route for Power boats (from Minneapolis down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, across the Gulf to Ft Lauderdale, and then up tp Albany on the intercoastal, then across to lake MIchigan, down to Chicago and then back to Minneapolis). As an interesting sidelight when we were in Ft. Lauderdale, Loren's daughter Lisa invited both of us as overnight guests while we waited for weather to clear before venturing out into the Atlantic ocean. It was such a pleasure to meet Lisa again - I hadn't seen her since the 1950's when my wife and I visited Loren and Arlene in the Twin Cities and met all four of you children.

It was a pleasure to meet Sally when we made several visits to their North Oaks home over the years. And several visits to Central Engineering where I marveled at the complexity of the jet engine test stands that he and his group of dedicated employees manufactured for customers all over the world.

So although Loren and I never lived close together, we were in each others' thoughts from 1941 to 2013. I will always cherish those thoughts as I remember the many pleasant times we had together.

Thea and I send our deepest sympathy.

H. W. 'Web' Thompson

Maria Hellgren

March 28, 2013

Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Loren was close to our hearts and we miss him a lot. The family Hellgren.

Carl Gustaf

March 27, 2013

A message from your relatives in Sweden.

Carl Gustaf Hjalmarsson

March 27, 2013

Bobbi & David Fox

March 26, 2013

We remember Mr. Swanson with great fondness and respect. He was a wonderful man and a great employer - treating each of us as "one of the family". Our deepest sympathy to all of you. May you find comfort in the arms of our Savior, Jesus.

Don Drewry

March 25, 2013

You've left a wonderful legacy in both the business world and your family.

Ron and Jan Kokesh

March 25, 2013

We extend our deepest sympathy to the family. We will always fondly remember our times together both in Minnesota and Arizona.