John Edward Swanson of Braham, MN passed away on Feb. 9, 2021, at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, MN after a yearlong struggle with congestive heart failure. He was 71 years old.

John was born at the Braham Community Hospital on Oct. 1, 1949, to parents Glen and Marianne (Burtness) Swanson. He grew up on the Swanson family farm NE of Braham with his parents and older brother Duane Peter, his grandparents Edward and Florence (Engler) Swanson and great grandmother Alma (Karlsdotter) Swanson. He began working on the farm as a child and made it his lifelong career.  

John attended Braham Public Schools and was actively involved in the marching band, choir and track and field. He played his trumpet in the Pine City Saints Drum & Bugle Corp and was also very active in FFA. Trap shooting was another one of John’s favorite activities and he was in several competitions. He graduated from Braham High School in 1967, and then attended the University of Minnesota in Crookston, MN for two years. During that time he received an Associate Degree in Animal Science.  

John attended and was an active member at Braham Evangelical Covenant Church for his entire life. He was baptized as an infant on June 9, 1950, by Rev. Frank W. Friberg with Joel and Mary Mae Erickson as his Godparents. He was confirmed in this church on May 20, 1962, by Rev. Kenneth Englund.  

Many church activities such as Sunday School and Hi-League Youth Group were a highlight of John’s life. He also enjoyed singing in the choir into his adult life. John held several church leadership roles including chairman. It was in this church that he met Janice LaRae Quiggle who also sang in the choir. After a two year courtship, John and Janice were married on Sept. 14, 1974, at the Braham Evangelical Covenant Church by Rev. Berner Swanson. They began their life together working side by side on the family farm enjoying milking cows, feeding calves, tilling & harvesting fields and all areas of farm work. Running the self-propelled field chopper and filling silos was John’s most favorite farm activity.

John and Janice had their first born daughter, Amanda Rae on Dec. 1, 1975. A son, John Erik was born on Jan. 2, 1979, and another daughter Kristina Lynn was born on July 7, 1982. They all grew up on the farm working together as a family and also developed a good work ethic from their dad. John also enjoyed outdoor activities, especially deer hunting at home on the farm and also in Cook, MN. His sharp shooting skills were something that John always prided himself in. Tractor pulling at all of the local county fairs was every summers highlight and he won many first place trophies. You can’t forget the Green Bay Packers either… John became an avid fan that began during the Vince Lombardi era and he followed the football team for many years.

On Oct. 1, 2015, John and Janice sold their herd of milking cows which was one of the hardest days of their lives together. Following the sale of the herd, they were able to enjoy a lot of time at the Peter Burtness family homestead in Cook, MN. Being in the North Woods was one of John’s favorite forms of relaxation. They also took several road trips that included Oregon, Illinois to visit their daughter Kristi.

John was always happy and enjoyed life to the fullest. He could easily strike up a conversation with anyone and always called you by your name. There was always a story and he loved telling them, especially about his years growing up and working on the farm with his family. John was able to remember so many people, dates and events. He was very proud of the fact that he was able to be the 4th generation on the “Meadowview Farm.” He loved his family very much and enjoyed all the time spent with each one of them. 

Throughout his entire life, John worked for the Lord and he did it with joy and grace. The bible verse from 2nd Timothy 4:7-8 describes John’s life. It says: “I have the fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.”

John was preceded in death by his parents Glen and Marianne Swanson, and his grandparents Edward and Florence Swanson and Peter and Tillie Burtness.

He is survived by his wife Janice; daughter Amanda (Tom) Visser of Braham, son John Erik (Sonja) of Mora;  daughter Kristina (fiancé Ron Snodgrass) of Oregon, IL; brother Duane (Kathy) of Braham; and Aunt Betty (Burtness) Rieder of Delano; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.

A private family memorial service was held at the Braham Ev. Covenant Church with Pastor Steve Jennisch officiating. Arrangements were by the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham. Condolences may be posted at

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