TORRINGTON – Richard “Bill” William Swanson, 79, passed away from natural causes Monday with his son, Chris, daughter, Cindy, grandson, Harlan (Mae), in attendance at Regional West Hospital in Scottsbluff, Neb.
Bill requested no services be held but instead stated “Like my Dad, just put a notice in the paper and call it good!” Cremation arrangements have been made and in a later private ceremony, Bill will finally rest alongside his wife Delia “Dee” (Stitt) Swanson, surrounded by his father, Richard McKinley “Dick” Swanson, and his paternal grandparents, McKinley and Tioma (Lame) Swanson, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Morrill, Neb.
Bill was born Aug. 4, 1941, in Scottsbluff, Neb., to Richard “Dick” Swanson of Torrington and Elaine (Fleenor) Swanson of Morrill, Neb. During the early years of Bill’s life, they lived in Denver, Oshkosh, and in Henry, Neb., where his father and grandad worked a substantial ranch raising cattle under the LN Bar brand for many years. They then moved to Torrington where again, his father “Dick” and grandad “Mac” together owned and operated the Torrington Livestock Commission Company. He graduated from Torrington High School in 1959. He met his wife Delia “Dee” Stitt while they both worked for the Ford Motor Company in Torrington and married on Aug. 23, 1961. Bill graduated from the University of Denver in 1963 where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Bill is survived by his three children, Rhonda Everman and her husband Robert, Chris Swanson and his wife Gina of Morrill, Neb., and Cindy (Fisher) Swanson of San Diego, Calif.; grandchildren Molly and Bradley Everman; Christine, Jack, Adam, and Janae Swanson; and Harlan and Edward Geernaert. Bill was also able to celebrate for a short time being great-grandpa to Myah and Lydia. He is also survived by brother John Swanson and wife Peggy, and his nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Delia, and his parents Dick and Elaine Swanson.
Bill lived a very eclectic life both personally and professionally. He always associated himself as an artist and chose professions to showcase his talents such as one of the many draftsmen for the Titan I and Titan II rocket series, international award-winning corporate image developer, entrepreneur, and writer of fiction and business how-to books. Bill had paintings that were acquired by the University of Denver’s permanent collection, showings of award winning paintings in the Denver Art Museum, and numerous paintings and sculptures that were displayed in various galleries throughout the country. He was also the inventor of the “Relative Position” method of photographic illustration, and designer and patentee for the backyard trampoline.
Bill’s numerous hobbies always included family, whether voluntarily or not. He loved sailing and spent years navigating the lakes of Colorado and both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans with his wife and kids as his crew. He and wife, Dee, traveled thousands of miles on their motorcycle touring the country absorbing natures beauty. However, he enjoyed most the times he spent with his children and grandchildren when they were crafting things together. He was always grateful to his daughter Rhonda and son-in-law Bob for helping with the never-ending house and landscaping projects; son Chris and daughter-in-law Gina for tending to his needs; and daughter Cindy for designing and printing his projects. He was often heard touting the accomplishments of ALL of his grandchildren and treasured time spent with them golfing, shooting, or playing chess. He remains in our hearts and is out there creating more projects waiting for the rest of us to help with.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Richard Swanson’s name to the Denver Art Museum, at https://www.denverartmuseum.org/en/donate.