Robert F Swanson

December 31, 1969 ~ August 31, 2023 (age 53) 53 Years Old
Obituary Image


A memorial visitation will take place Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 12:00 pm until time of Military Honors at 2:00pm at the M J  Suerth Funeral Home, 6754 N  Northwest Highway, Chicago, IL.

Robert F. Swanson, age 88 passed away peacefully in his sleep, the night of August 31, 2023.

Born in Chicago on May 31, 1935 to Ottillie B. Swanson (Bielan) and Nils B. Swanson, Robert

was accompanied into the world by his twin sister Roberta A. Johannson (the late Yngve).

Loving husband to Elaine F. Swanson (Tamblingson), and proud father to William R. (Linda)

Swanson, James A (Annette) Swanson, Lynda E. (Charles) Young, and Donald K. (Carolina)


Robert was also the proud and loving grandfather to twenty grandchildren, fifteen great

grandchildren, and three step-grandchildren. He was also the loving uncle to thirteen.

A lifelong resident of Chicago’s Northwest Side, Robert was a 1948 graduate of Scammon

Elementary School. He then attended and graduated from Chicago’s Carl Schurz High School in

January 1953, where he was active in sports and social activities. Robert maintained lifelong friendships with many of his Bulldog classmates into his final days. After high school, Robert began studies at North Park University in Chicago, but decided to cut his studies short and enter

the workforce.

In 1957 Robert met the woman that was to become the love of his life, Elaine F. Tamblingson, in

Beloit, WI. During their courtship, Uncle Sam called, and Robert was inducted into the United

States Army in March of 1958 to serve his country. Before being shipped to Korea, Robert and

Elaine were married on July 12, 1958. They celebrated their 65 th wedding anniversary together,

this year. Upon receiving his Honorable Discharge from the service in 1960, the roller coaster

ride of raising a family began, first with the arrival of William, quickly followed by James, then

Lynda, and finally Donald.

The arc of Robert’s career life ran the gamut, as a golf and tennis sales representative for

Wilson Sporting Goods, to tower crane operator with Local 150 of the International Union of

Operating Engineers, an organization he was extremely proud to be a member of, as it also

afforded him the opportunity to work alongside his father Nils, a lifetime member and

bulldozer operator.

In the mid-1980’s, Robert decided a change in career direction was necessary when Van’s

Supermarket, where he was serving as store manager, had closed. That change in direction

brought Robert back to North Park University to finish his studies. Robert’s graduation from

North Park in 1987 set him on a path to the legal profession as an independent investigator and

paralegal. In this role, Robert successfully assisted numerous attorneys in state and federal civil

and criminal cases. Robert worked in this profession until the age of 85 in 2020.

Besides his passion for his family, Robert was passionate about sports, particularly baseball (a

lifelong Cubs fan), and golf. He happily shared this passion his children and grandchildren.


Robert was also passionate about the outdoors, a trait he inherited from his father Nils, a native

of the Swedish countryside. From family camping trips, to leading Boy Scout Troop 933, to

fishing, especially fly casting on the rivers and streams of Wisconsin, Robert took great joy in

participating in, and sharing these activities with his immediate family, his nephews, and

numerous friends throughout his life.

Robert’s final days were comforted through the caring presence of his wife Elaine, his sons and

daughter, his grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, Robert’s family requests donations in his name to the following organizations.

For their humane end of life care:

Rainbow Hospice & Palliative Care

Ascension Illinois Foundation

1000 Remington Blvd., Suite 100

Bolingbrook, IL 60440

And for their work in nurturing the rivers and streams of Wisconsin that he so loved:

Trout Unlimited

Memorial and Honorary Gifts

(800) 834-2419

PO Box  98166

Washington, DC 20090

Robert F. Swanson was preceded in death by his mother, Ottillie B. Swanson in 1990, his father,

Nils B. Swanson in 1995, and his sister Roberta A. Johansson on May 30, 2023.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine F. Swanson, and his sons, daughter, their spouses, and their

families as listed.

William R. Swanson (Linda Zaprzalka) (son)


James A. Swanson (Annette Labarbera) (son)

Dana Loew (Grady) (granddaughter)

Gage, Maddox (great grandsons)

Robert Swanson (Rachel Larabee) (grandson)

Lacey, Revery (great granddaughters)

Cole Swanson (Chelsea Clark) (grandson)

Knox, Stetson (great grandsons)


Gabrielle Larson (Zach) (granddaughter)

Winnifred (great granddaughter)

Cameron Swanson (Maddie Russell) (grandson)

Duncan Swanson (Macey Aue) (grandson)

Kyroden Swanson (grandson)


Lynda E. Young (Charles) (daughter)

Leyh-Anne Kopp (Tony) (granddaughter)

Bella, Ginny, Loretta Kopp (great granddaughters)

Courtney Jones (Jeffery) (granddaughter)

Avery (great granddaughter)

Marriaye Bronsveld (Nathan) (granddaughter)

Logan (great grandson)

Cassandra Holsclaw (Jared) (granddaughter)

Gideon, Jesse (great grandsons)

Tyra Young (granddaughter)

Seija Smith (Marcus) (granddaughter)

Erynn Young (granddaughter)

Siobhan Young (granddaughter)

Lleyton Young (grandson)

Ella-Brynn Young (granddaughter)

Donald K. Swanson (Carolina B. Aburto Espinosa) Son

Erik Swanson (Katie) Swanson (grandson)

Kelli R. Wright (Jason)  (granddaughter)

Owen C. (Great Grandson)

Kristy L. Swanson (Eric Mauer) (granddaughter)

Laurie (Daniel) Koch (Mother of Donald’s adult children above)

Sebastian V. Plaza,  (Donald’s stepson)

Sofia M. Plaza,  (Donald’s stepdaughter)

Laura A. Plaza,  (Donald’s stepdaughter)

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert F Swanson, please visit our floral store.

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September 23, 2023

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Heneghan-Suerth Funeral & Cremation Service
6754 N Northwest Hwy
Chicago, IL 60631

Military Honors
September 23, 2023

2:00 PM
Heneghan-Suerth Funeral & Cremation Service
6754 N Northwest Hwy
Chicago, IL 60631


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