Robert J. Swanson – Manchester

Robert John Swanson, 93, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Friday, February 9, 2018, at his home.  He was born on November 25, 1924, in Shellsburg, the son of Harry and Elna (Anderson) Swanson. Bob attended Prairie Township rural school, Delaware County.  He served honorably in the United States Army in Italy during WWII.  When he returned from the service, Bob worked for Rath Packing in Waterloo for two years. He then began farming in 1950.

On July 2, 1949, Bob was united in marriage to Crystal Pearl Smithson at the United Methodist Church in Manchester.  Three children were born to this union.  Together they farmed and resided in the Manchester area.  Crystal died on June 16, 1994.  Bob then was married to Elvetta Bender on November 3, 1995, in Hazelton.

Bob enjoyed traveling the United States and visited 48 states and Switzerland.  They wintered for many years in Mission, Texas.  Bob moved back to Manchester in 2014.  Bob was a longtime member of the Manchester United Methodist church and was very involved in the Prairie Center Grange.  He enjoyed going to hootenannies to listen to music and dance.

Survivors include his daughter, Julie (Pat) Schmitz of Manchester; his wife, Elvetta Swanson of Minot, North Dakota; three grandchildren, Paul Doeppke, Crissa Doeppke, and Carl Meyer; five great-grandchildren; three siblings, Jean (Frank) McCusker of Manchester, Clifford Swanson, and Lois (Richard) Morris of Cedar Rapids; two daughters-in-law, Sandy English of Trinidad, Colorado and Sue Swanson of Hiawatha; three sisters-in-law, Vivian Pilgrim of Manchester, Pat Swanson of Manchester, and Marlene Swanson of California; and many nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Crystal Swanson, in 1994; two sons, Dennis and Terry Swanson; a sister, Betty Morgan; two brothers, Harry “Duke” (Velma) Swanson and Ken Swanson; and sisters-and brothers-in-law, Ruth Swanson, Bernice (Lloyd) Jones, Verna Mae (W.H.) Bentley, Mary (Carl) Campbell, Carroll Smithson, and Wanda (Jerry) Lohrer.

Online condolences may be sent to

Funeral Service:   10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at the United Methodist Church in Manchester, with Rev. Phil Rogers officiating.

Visitation:  3:00 to 7:00 p.m., on Monday, February 12, 2018, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester.  Friends may also call one hour before the service at the church on Tuesday.

Interment with Military Rites:  Oakland Cemetery  – Manchester, Iowa