TRAVERSE CITY — Richard W. Swanson, 87, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, at Grand Traverse Pavilions in Traverse City, surrounded by his loving family.
Richard was born May 21, 1925, in Hastings to Harold and Katherine (Ickes) Swanson. His early years were spent primarily in Big Rapids and Hastings, where he graduated from high school. He went on to Michigan State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1948. Richard was a Registered Professional Engineer and Registered Land Surveyor, and was employed by Wayne County in highway engineering for 34.5 years.
On Aug. 19, 1950, Richard married Betty (Arnold), who became his lifelong loving partner. They raised eight children in Plymouth, Mich., and retired to Elk Lake in Rapid City in 1983. Richard was an active member of First Baptist Church of Plymouth, where he served as a trustee and deacon. Upon moving to Elk Lake, he and Betty joined First Presbyterian Church of Elk Rapids, where he served on the building committee, as an elder and clerk of session, and sang in the choir. Richard also served on the Antrim County Board of Public Works and the Milton Township Zoning Board of Appeals. He enjoyed many other activities throughout the years, including tennis, fishing, photography, gardening, painting, and carpentry.
Richard is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Betty; his adoring children, Mary (Mark) Pincumbe, Katherine (Michael) Duvendeck, Barbara Swanson, Jim (Heidi) Swanson, Mark (Claudia) Swanson, Stephen Swanson and Nancy (Jeff) Ennis; and grandchildren, Sarah (Brandon) Folks, Elizabeth Pincumbe, Tyler Swanson, Emily Swanson, Jacob Ennis, Hailey Swanson and Ryan Ennis; and dear friend, Zasa Swanson.
He was preceded in death by sons, William Harold and Richard Dale.
The memorial service for Richard will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, at First Presbyterian Church, 404 Spruce St., Elk Rapids. Visitation begins at 10:30 a.m., with the memorial service following at 11 a.m.
Memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church of Elk Rapids or the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Elk Rapids.