Swanson, Joseph Willard “Joe”

SWANSON, JOE WFebruary 1, 1946 – December 17, 2013
at the age of 67 years

Celebration of Life:  May 3, 2014, 1:00 p.m. Kingfisher Community Hall, Enderby, BC

Joe Swanson was born February 1st, 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri to Willard Harold and Mary Virginia Swanson nee Stanley and was the eldest of nine children.  He died almost instantaneously at the age of sixty seven of a pulmonary embolism at his home in Mabel Lake near Kingfisher Hall on December 17th, 2013.

While putting himself through high school then university working as a tutor and various other jobs, Joe met his one and only love, Mary Madonna Martin who he married on December 10th, 1966.  Joe attained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1969 at the University of Washington after successfully completing his thesis titled, “The Effects of Mergers on the Determinants of Per Share Values”.  With their two children, Michael and Erik, Joe left an executive position with Gillette in the United States to move to the Lumby area near Vernon, BC.  They migrated to Canada July 4th, 1974 on a new adventure that suited this gentle giant of a man who was truly a carpenter at heart than a manager of an accounting department of a large company.   In Canada, Joe was employed with BC Hydro for a number of years.

Joe’s legacy to his family is the timber frame house he built with the old Enderby Street Bridge when it was demolished that he purchased for fifty dollars.  Joe built the home himself with Mary and the boys help and it is fitting that he lived and died in his home.   However, his greatest legacy can be found in the characters and morals of his two sons who carry with them the teachings of honesty, kindness where kindness may not even be due, and trying to do the right thing for those in need who cross their paths in life.  His sons share and value Joe’s keen sense of fairness, social justice, and truth.

Joe is greatly missed by Mary, his eldest son Michael and wife Raechel, his grandchild and apple of his eye Shayla Lee Swanson, and son Erik and Denise.   Joe’s eight younger brothers and sisters residing in the United States have missed Joe since he left for Canada although there have been visits here and there.   In descending birth order, they are:  Dr. Michael John Swanson, Mary Kathryn Minner, Paul Malcolm Swanson, Stephen Stanley Swanson, Mark Gerard Swanson, and Peter Christopher (Chris) Swanson, James William Swanson and Patricia Ann Hurley as well as their respective spouses.  Joe’s nieces and nephews he leaves behind are Jessica Rose, Brittany Katherine and Joshua Watkin Hurley as well as Michelle, Zachary, Daniel and Thomas Swanson.   Joe also has two step-nephews Logan and Brayden, Zachary’s brothers.

A celebration of Joe’s life will be announced at a later date in the spring to allow time for family members to make the necessary arrangements for travel.




  1. Hello Mary –

    I was a friend of Joe’s at CU when we both worked at King Soopers. I met you many times both in Boulder and later in Seattle. The last time I saw him was on the way to BC when he stopped by my office to say hi! Just happened to think of Joe and this came up on google. Very sorry to hear of his passing, but from the Obit, it sounds like you two found a home in BC and had a good life there.

    Best regards,

    Mike Phillips

  2. Hey , Steve! I am sorry about the death of your older brother. I lost my older brother Jim, in May, 1967, and my youngest brother, Billy, in Oct. 2003. We were all REGIS Jesuit High school guys, too. I did not know brother Joe, But I did know YOU, Steve, and I’m sure he had the same “good Swanson ingredients” as you.
    Hang in there, Steve. You are a good man! sincerely, john sauer

  3. Erik and Denise: We send our love and prayers at this difficult time. We are very saddened to hear of the loss of Joe. Try and take comfort in your many memories and beautiful times shared together. We are thinking of you and will keep you in our prayers. Love, Al & Sherry XO

  4. We are very sorry to hear of your loss. You’ve shared many wonderful stories about Joe with us over the years. We hope your fond memories of times together will bring you a bit of peace. Love, Erle, Janell, Cam and Brandon

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