Obituary: Jerry Swanson

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Edward Gerald (Jerry) Swanson was born in Ferndale in 1916. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 28, 2020.

Jerry graduated from Ferndale High School and the University of Washington. He married Regina (Gene) Matz, also of Ferndale.

Jerry and Gene moved to Seattle where they raised their three children: Ann, Rick, and Doug. Jerry worked for Boeing for nearly 30 years, then left Boeing to start his own cabinet business from which he retired.

Jerry loved the outdoors and was quite an adventurous guy.
He had one of the original Indian motorcycles in the 1930s which he rode from Ferndale to Seattle while at UW, and rode the rails to Chicago during the Depression, among other adventures.

He took his 24 foot boat “Dogpatch” twice to Alaska from Blaine with different family members along. He fished for over 50 years on his boat off the coast of Vancouver Island, sometimes for a month at a time, exploring remote sounds and bays, always chasing the Big One.

His family bought a cabin at Birch Bay in the 1920s which is still in the family today. Jerry spent every summer in his cabin at Birch Bay. At the age of 100, he was the Grand Marshal of the Birch Bay Discovery Days parade, receiving the designation of “Honorary Birch Bay Citizen”.

Jerry lived a full and active life for over 103 years and we are all privileged to have had him with us for so long. He had a very strong spirit and passed that on to his children as well as his grandchildren.

We all have beautiful memories of this kind, gentle and wonderful man. We are lucky indeed that we had so many years with him.

He is survived by his three children and their spouses, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. His wife Gene preceded him in death in December 1983.

His church was the outdoors and fishing was his religion. We know he is in heaven, with a fishing rod in his hand.

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