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Myron "Mike" Duane Swanson, 70, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Mike was born on Aug. 22, 1943 in Tyler, the sixth child of Carl and Anna (Hegge) Swanson. When he was six weeks old the family moved to their farm located on the Hubbard/Wadena County line. He grew up helping on the family farm, but still found time to learn how to hunt and fish, which became two of his favorite pastimes right up to his last year of life.

Mike attended school in Menahga to the 11th grade and then went to work in the potato fields of North Dakota until he enlisted in the Army in 1961 and served until 1964. During this time he received his GED. Upon his discharge he worked for Minnesota Rubber Company for five years, then worked at Spancrete. In 1971 he went to work for Twin City Monorail, a job that took him all over the country. During this time he moved back to Park Rapids and built a home across from his parents farm. He retired from Twin City Monorail in 1987. Never one to sit still, he started Mikes Sharpening Service, a business which flourished with companies from all over the country shipping blades to him. He also found time to build homes and cabins.

Mike married Evelyn Price in 1978. In 1988 they built a home on Potato Lake. They loved the home but decided to downsize so Mike built a beautiful cabin closer to the lake that is now known as Swanee Shores. Mike was saddened by his wifes death in 2007. To help him deal with his grief he did what he enjoyed doing most and that was to help his son, Andy, build his home.

Mike was always busy working on a project. He was an avid fisherman and caught trophy Walleye, Northern and Crappies. Mike also enjoyed hunting. In the 60s Mike and a group of friends leased land near Lake George and the cabin became known as the "Lake George Hilton." Mike looked forward to his time at hunting camp and would spend the entire week there with his hunting buddies. Thursday night was always poker night with a few of his neighbors and friends. Mike looked forward to the night and he always made sure they ate good as he thought it might soften the blow to his poker buddies when he would win all their money.

Mike was a member of the Minnesota Dark House Association and for many years he would get up early to open up the community fish house. This was a job he truly enjoyed and was proud of the success of the project. Mike was a lifetime member of the American Legion and was always willing to help with any project, which included volunteering as bartender on Sunday afternoons. He had a talent for calling the horse races on Wednesday night at "Legion Downs." Mike served on the Legion honor guard and was elected as commander in 2012.

A few years ago Mikes always ready smile, the twinkle in his eyes and his "hello, darlin," captured the heart of Linda Eischens. Linda and Mike were married in October 2013.

Mike was known for his wit and humor as well as being a caring and influential person. Granddaughter, Stephanie, once wrote about him being her most influential person and all the things he has taught her, like shake pepper on your food first so you can tell how much salt you are putting on. Mike always had a positive outlook on life and he didnt let things get him down. One of his favorite lines was "It is what it is." Mike was also known as a stubborn Swede and he did things his way up to the day he died.

Mike is survived by his wife, Linda; sons, Kim (Deb) Price of Hampton, Iowa, Andy (Tracy) Williams of Shevlin, Ken (Cheryl) Swanson of Big Lake; stepchildren, Curt (Ashley) Eischens of Park Rapids, Samantha Eischens of Owatonna and Rachel Eischens of Park Rapids; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; one sister, Gloria Carl of McMinnville, Oregon and two brothers, Dean (Gladys) of Menahga and Keith (Sue) of Park Rapids, along with many nieces and nephews.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Evelyn, brothers, Carl "Vic," Roy and Raymond and one sister, Lorraine.

Funeral services: will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 7 at St. Johns Lutheran Church with Pastor Tim Heinecke officiating. The organist will be Sarah Kaufenberg.

Visitation: will be from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at Jones Pearson Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Military honors will be conducted.

Active casket bearers: will be his poker buddies: Bob McCollough, Bill Bell, Dean Soltis, Randy Benham, Tom Paulson, Kelly Elsner, Mike Wilson, Jerry Benham, Gary Schwartz and Pete Nyhus.

Honorary casket bearers: will be his hunting buddies: Mike Fowler, Joe Fowler, Ron Tenney, Terry Seland, Jack Tenney, Scott Fowler and Andy Williams.

Interment: will be at the Hubbard Cemetery. Following the service a luncheon will be served at the church.