A good man died today, June 8, 2020. Ronald J. Swenson was born on December 25, 1930. He was the 10th child of 11 children born to George and Hannah Swenson in Spanish Fork, Utah. Ron grew up on an 80-acre family farm, during the Great Depression, and learned the value and necessity of hard work from his wonderful parents, shoulder to shoulder with his nine siblings.
Ron was always curious, intelligent, and active. He valued education, encouraged laughter and loved art, literature, poetry, music and politics. He instilled in his family - a love of the outdoors.
Ron met his beloved wife Norma Badham in the late 1940s, and they were married for time and eternity on September 23, 1952.
Ron attended the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, taking a Bachelor of Science from the latter, and a commission from ROTC as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. Ron and Norma both worked to support his education.
With a now growing family, Ron served four years in the US Air Force during the Cold War years, primarily as a Photo Intelligence Officer with Top Security clearance. Upon his honorable discharge, he entered the private sector, working with Thiokol Chemical as a technical writer. He was then asked by then Governor Calvin Rampton to join his staff, where he served for 12 years as Press Secretary and Administrative Assistant. At the end of Governor Rampton’s 3rd Term, Ron left politics and went into banking; finally retiring from US Bank in 2006. While in the private sector, he remained active in the Democratic Party and politics, and served as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Utah.
After both Ron and Norma retired, they were called to serve a mission in Reykjavik Iceland for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both Ron and Norma’s ancestors were from Iceland, so this was an especially rewarding and meaningful experience for them.
Throughout his life, and into retirement, Ron continued his passion for engagement and lifelong learning. He and Norma bought a home in St. George, and both stayed active. Ron taught poetry classes at the Institute for Continuous Learning. He pursed his interests in music, books, hiking and golf with his best friend Kay. He stayed active in politics, often writing commentary or opinion for the local paper. Most of all, both Ron and Norma relished running the best free Bed & Breakfast in St. George – with the steady stream of family and friends that would visit and stay at their home. Ron and Norma returned to Salt Lake City – to be closer to the kids and grandkids during his final years.
Ron was both a wonderful husband and father -- but an especially doting and positive influence in the lives of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His superpower was an effortless way with infants and toddlers, who were always drawn to him. Ron will be missed immensely.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Norma Badham Swenson. He is also survived by his five children: Shelley (James) Robinson, David (Coleta) Swenson, Arnold (Mindy) Swenson, Stuart (Isis) Swenson, and Steven (Lindsay) Swenson.
He is survived by 20 adoring grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Ron is also survived by a sister, Merla Thomas and a brother, Dallas Swenson. He was preceded in death by 4 brothers, and 3 sisters; his son-in-law, James A Robinson, and grandsons James Bradford Robinson, and Nathan James Swenson.
In lieu of flowers; you may make a donation to the MS Society of Utah-Southern Idaho: www.nationalmssociety.org, the Institute for Continuing Learning at Dixie State University: Https://icl.dixie.edu.
A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.
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