James L. Swanson

James Levon Swanson, age 79, died on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, surrounded by his family. 

Jim was born in Fish Lake township on July 19, 1940, to Levon and Esther (Forslund) Swanson. He was a life-long resident of the Cambridge area.

In the early years, he helped on his dad’s farm, driving the tractor and taking care of the animals.

He graduated from Cambridge High School in 1958, where he met the love of his life, LaDonna Jean Packer. He started working at Hobart Manufacturing in Minneapolis.

Jim and LaDonna were married on July 1, 1961, at the Cambridge Methodist Church. They went on to have three beautiful children.

Jim then went on to work at Basic Industries as shop superintendent.

In 1981, he and John Kipping opened Ideal Industries, Inc. in Princeton.

Jim was an avid golfer and curler. He also loved to fish and deer hunt. He spent many years organizing the annual deer hunting camp and loved being the camp cook.

He had a great sense of volunteerism and was actively involved as a Mason/Shriner, was a past patron of the Eastern Star, served as President of the Cambridge Curling Club board and the Isanti County Fair Board. 

Jim also sponsored the Ideal men’s softball team for many years and was always in the stands cheering them on.

Jim and LaDonna bought their house on Green Lake in 1994, and his family and friends spent 25 years enjoying the beach, the lake, their wonderful neighbors and many campfires on summer nights.

He retired at the age of 58, after which Jim and LaDonna enjoyed seven years in Mesa, Arizona, on Desert Sands golf course.

His greatest delight was following his four grandchildren in their many sports and activities. He also had the privilege of watching his great-grandson, Gavin, play baseball for the last few summers.

Jim was preceded in death by parents, Levon and Esther Swanson; father and mother-in-law Lee and Dee Packer, brother Dean Swanson and nephew Ronnie VanSickle.

Jim is survived by LaDonna, his wife of 58 years, children Bradley (Linda) Swanson, Michael (Mel) Swanson, Randa (Todd) Urness; grandchildren Tyler (Graci Enerson) Swanson, Derek (Gloria) Swanson, Mackenzie (Joe) Ramberg, Morgan Urness; great-grandchildren Gavin, Tucker, Odessa and Riley; sister Janice (Don) VanSickle; sister-in-law Lynne Swanson; brother-in-law Gary Packer; along with nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at Cambridge Lutheran Church with Rev. Keith Kolzow officiating. Pallbearers will be Tyler, Derek, Doug and Dean Swanson, Joe Ramberg, and Dan VanSickle. Visitation is Thursday 5-8 p.m. at Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home in Cambridge and one hour prior to the service at the church. Online condolences at www.carlsonlillemoen.com.

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