Welcome to the memorial page for

David Russell Swanson

May 17, 1922 ~ October 9, 2017 (age 95)

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     David Russell Swanson, aged 95, of Maple Rapids, passed away at his home on Monday, October 9, 2017.  He was a retired dairy farmer and former Essex Township supervisor.

      Born on May 17, 1922 in Oscoda County Michigan, David was the son of Clyde O. Swanson and Mildred Duerr Swanson.  He graduated from high school in McHenry, Illinois and after service in World War II attended Central Michigan University for two years in their mechanical engineering program before buying what would become the family farm near Maple Rapids.

      During World War II, David served in the Navy’s Pacific fleet aboard the USS Mitchell, a destroyer escort.  His ship fought in the battle of Guam, survived the great typhoon of 1944 and at the end was part of the Naval Force in Tokyo Bay on the day that the Japanese Emperor surrendered his country.  At the end of the war, he worked to decommission the ship in San Francisco where he met his future wife, Anita Straus.  They were married in the Marine Chapel on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay.

     David was an avid genealogist, history buff, and political junkie.  He served several terms on the Board of Directors of the Clinton County Soil Conservation District, was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and faithfully attended the Church of God. 

      David is survived by his wife Joyce Plowman Swanson and his children, David of Bryan, Ohio, Sally (Randy) Seifert of Charlotte, Russell (Gena) of Lansing, Trevor (Patty) of Maple Rapids, Clyde (Rosemary) of Charlotte, and John (Cynthia) of Vine Grove, Kentucky.  Also surviving are step-sons Jim (Wendy) Pittman of St. John’s, Mark (Margaret) Pittman of Dimondale, Erik Plowman of Colorado  and step-daughters Laurenza (Darcy) Riojas of Lansing, Susan (Dick) Wood of Grand Rapids and Beverly Plowman of Gladstone.  Additionally, he is survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Anita Straus Swanson, second wife Socorro Riojas Swanson, sister Betty Schamp, brother Warren Swanson and daughters-in-law Janet Swanson and Diane Swanson. 

     Visitation will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, 104 E. Cass Street, St. Johns, on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M.  The Funeral Service will be held at the Lowe United Methodist Church, 5485 West Lowe Road, St. Johns, on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Kathy Leydorf-Keck and Pastor Jerry Kissling officiating. Burial will take place at Sowle Cemetery, Essex Township, MI, with Military Honors to be provided by St. Johns VFW Post #4113 Honor Guard.

     Memorials may be made to the Lowe United Methodist Church, St. Johns, MI. Online condolences can be sent to The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.

 Service Information

Visitation - with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M.
October 11, 2017

2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Smith Family Funeral Homes- St. Johns, MI - Osgood Chapel
104 East Cass Street
St. Johns, MI 48879

Funeral Service
October 12, 2017

11:00 AM
Lowe United Methodist Church
5485 West Lowe Road
St. Johns, MI 48879

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