Obituary of Roland A. Swanson
Roland A. Swanson, 93, of Aldren Avenue, Jamestown, formerly of Route 394 Falconer, NY known as “Roland from Poland” died February 16, 2019. His key Bible verse in life was John 10:10. His favorite question of his to the opposite gender was “Have you hugged a Swede today?”
Roland was born in General Hospital, Jamestown, NY April 26th 1925, son of Axel and Greta Lindahl Swanson.
He was a member of 1st Lutheran Church in Jamestown, participating and serving in many capacities.
He was employed for a number of years at Sears, Roebuck and Company. He also worked for Sunset Hill Cemetery, American Agriculturist Insurance Company, and Edborg’s.
He served during the Korean Conflict. During World War II he served from 1943-1946 in the U.S. Navy SEABEEs, serving with the 78th Construction Battalion in the Southwest Pacific including Okinawa. He earned the Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with two Battle stars and American Area Medal.
In 1983 he formed the 78th SEABEE Association with assistance from his wife, Doris. With one known address of a former shipmate friend, this organization grew to a nationwide affiliation and in 1993 he spearheaded an effort nationally for a 75th anniversary SEABEE Commemorative postage stamp.
His memberships included: Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County Chapter of Muscular Dystrophy Association of America, Jamestown Fraternal Order of Eagles #2145 as a Life Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars, John Tiffany Post #53 as a Life Member, Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown, American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, the Rauol Wallenberg Committee at J.C.C. and on the Awards Committee for the C.R.C.F. Falconer Region Fund. He was a charter member of SEABEE Veterans of America Island X-5 of Buffalo, N.Y., life member of National U.S. Navy SEABEE Veterans of America, New York State Department SEABEE Veterans of America and a charter member of World War II Memorial and founder and Commander for Island X-11, Jamestown SEABEE Veterans of America, and Awards Committee for the C.R.C.F. Falconer Region Fund.
He also enjoyed being Santa Claus for JNP and JCC Campus Children’s Center “Toddler 2” children and also playing tennis with his three nephews.
Some of the community awards and recognitions given to him were the SERTOMA Service to Mankind, the Harriet Danielson Award for Faithful Service and Dedication to First Lutheran Church, the New York State World War II Conspicuous Service Medal and Certificate, the Kennedy Grange Community Citizen Award in August 2005 in recognition of “outstanding service to community and mankind”.
He was involved in the Kennedy Pride Committee, served as Master of Ceremonies for the Town of Poland Memorial Day Observance, and the flag retirement for the Town of Poland. In September 2000 a commemorative bench was placed in the Veterans area of Riverside Cemetery for his Memorial Day efforts and organization.
He married the former Doris M. Gustafson, of Falconer, on October 12th 1952 in the Pilgrim Memorial Congregational Church, Jamestown, who preceded him in death on July 28th 2011. He is survived by one daughter, Diane G. Crandall (Vernon) of Kennedy, two sons also of Kennedy, NY; William R. and Richard J. (wife Joan Y) Swanson. Also three grandchildren, William G. Swanson of Jamestown, John D. Crandall of Kennedy, and Susan L. (Michael) Kehrli of Frewsburg, NY, three Great-Grandchildren; Collin, Rachael and Olivia Kehrli of Frewsburg, and one cousin in Sigtuna, Sweden, Inga Langré.
Preceding him in death, along with Doris are his father Axel in May 1953, his sister Gloria A. Pederson of Thompson Connecticut in November 1968, his mother in March 1982; beloved cousin, Vivian Carlson in 1969 and her parents Axel and Agda Carlson.
Through the years he was appreciative of support received by his wife, Doris, family and friends.
His giving attitude continues in death as he has donated his body for medical research.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday in the First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler St. Jamestown with Reverend Daniel Nagle presiding with Pastor Jennifer Delahoy assisting. Burial will be at Sunset Hill Cemetery at a later date.
The family will receive friends immediately following the memorial service Saturday in the parlors of First Lutheran Church.
Contributions may be made to First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler Street, Jamestown, NY; Epilepsy Foundation of America, Landover, MD 20785; Muscular Dystrophy Association of America, Tucson, Arizona 85718-3208; R.A. and D.M. Swanson Fund, c/o CRCF, Inc, 418 Spring Street, Jamestown, NY or Island X-11 SEABEE Scholarship Fund, c/o CRCF, Inc. 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY 14701 or a charity of your choice.
44 West Falconer Street, Falconer, New York 14733-1598