Cover photo for Harleth Swanson's Obituary
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1929 Harleth 2020

Harleth Swanson

February 7, 1929 — December 16, 2020

Harleth Swanson, known as Whitey, passed away on December 16, 2020. He was born on February 7, 1929 to Ruth (Schlekau) Swanson and Oscar Swanson in Ishpeming Michigan. Early in his life, he moved to Minnesota and attended school in several towns due to his father's job as a superintendent. Their move to Mazeppa Minnesota was significant. This is where he met his life long love, Donna Judd. He graduated from Pine Island High School and went on to attend college in St. Cloud MN. He studied accounting and played football in college. Sports were a major part of his life from high school through college. Donna and Whitey were married on Nov. 22, 1950. He loved his family and was deeply proud of them. He never missed a game or dance competition that his daughters or grandkids participated in and he could often be heard cheering the loudest in the stands. He and Donna were able to build a successful life that they loved. He had 2 daughters, Jackie and Kris and together the family traveled extensively and built a cabin in Shell Lake Wisconsin. His travels took the family from Canada to Mexico and all around the United States, often as road trips. He especially loved downhill skiing trips out west. As time went on, these trips grew to include his daughter's families as well. Family time was the best time for Whitey. His family is equally proud of him as he was of them. He had many accomplishments which included working for IBM as a programmer for 33 years and being one of the founding fathers for the IBM Credit Union in 1961. He continued on the board of directors for the Credit Union which eventually became Think Bank. After his retirement from IBM in 1989, Whitey continued to be involved with the Credit Union and he and Donna continued to travel and take trips. He also spent a great amount of time with his family, helping them out in any way possible. Whitey was always in motion and he usually could be found outside gardening, mowing the lawn, or picking up sticks. The only time you could consistently find him sitting down and relaxing was when he was captaining boat rides around the lake. Whitey is now reunited with his love, Donna. In addition to Donna, he was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Ruth (Schlekau) Swanson, sisters Fran (Ernie) Anderson of Roseville, MN and Ellen (Johnny) Scheuneman of St. Paul MN, brother Reuben (Irene) Swanson of Bloomington, MN. He is survived by his daughters Jackie (Mike) Curry and Kris (Eric) Mickelberg and his grandchildren Nick (Anna) Curry, Libby (Andrew Zeman) Curry and Rosalee (Aaron) Kukuzke and his beloved dog Rocky. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Swanson family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
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