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American Patriotic 10


Lee Swanson

November 4, 1933 ~ September 27, 2018 (age 84)

Lee V. Swanson, 84, of East Moline, died Thursday, September 27, 2018, at home.

Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m., Monday, October 1, 2018, at the National Cemetery, Rock Island Arsenal.  Military honors will be conducted by the Moline American Legion Post No.246.  Anyone wishing to attend services should meet at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd. 6601-38th Avenue, Moline by 12:15 p.m. for procession to the cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. All need to use 60th Street for access to the funeral home.

Lee was born on November 4, 1933 in Forest City, IA, the son of Delmer and Lillian (Isaacson) Swanson.  Lee attended “country school” in Ellington Township, Forest City, IA, and graduated from Forest City High School in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, but armistice was signed while he was aboard ship in transit. Lee’s future career was influenced by his commanding officer who encouraged him to study surveying and eventually engineering. Lee was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant in 1955.

Lee obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University in 1959. During his time at Iowa State University, his coursework was interrupted by a significant health issue. Lee was struck with polio in 1957, but managed to fight off the major effects.  He then went on to become first in his class while attending post graduate studies in Flood Plain Management, from the University of Illinois. Lee began working at the US Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island, in 1960. In 1967 he was promoted to Chief of the Automatic Data Processing Center, the present day Information Technology Center, which was a position he held until he gave himself a 62nd birthday gift: his retirement on November 4, 1995 after 35 years of service. His career was marked by numerous highly successful achievements, including having the most respected IT department in the Corps, which he attributed to an excellent team.

Perhaps his most interesting achievement involves overcoming his fear of flying. He was often a passenger commercially for work, but each time he was nervous. How ironic that he studied for and became a licensed private pilot in 1982. Lee shared his flying jaunts with family as passengers—what an experience. Steph kissed the ground, almost, when they finally landed back at the Quad Cities airport. And Mom couldn’t meet him at the airport in Mason City—she was too nervous to see her baby flying a plane. Perhaps his fear of flying came from Mom.

Lee was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Moline, IL. He has three sons, Mike was born in 1962, Dave was born in 1963, and Steve was born in 1967. Interestingly, he met his new wife at the Corps. Friends for 15 years, Lee and Stephanie Carlson were married on Valentine’s Day 1987. They retired together from the Corps, sharing many fond memories and numerous lifelong friendships over time. Graduations, weddings, grandbabies, fishing with grandbabies, trips to the lake, RPDFC car trips, Corps Crew gatherings, watching the Illini games—the list is numerous for Lee’s happy shared snippets. Let’s focus on those as we celebrate Lee.

Survivors include his wife, Stephanie; sons, Mike (Sue), Davenport, IA, Dave, Dunlop, IL, Steve (Cindy), St. Peters, MO; and grandchildren, Pam, James, Luke, Matt (Abby), Alex, Kristin, Kaitlyn, Kelly, Anna, Ben, Dan, and Cathy.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memories may be shared on the tribute wall.

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