Gene Swanson dies at 80
– Gene A. Swanson passed away Jan. 30, 2017 at Bayside Care Center, Morro Bay, CA. Born In Kane, PA in June of 1936. He was the youngest child of Carl Leo Swanson and Mildred Christenson Swanson. He enlisted in USAF shortly after he graduated high school in 1954, spending his next 20 years in the Air force. He married Carol F. Gerlach on June 29, 1957. They raised three children together.
Over the years, he trained in strategic air command exercises, the guided missile electronics field, combat crew training and training on the Mace missile, becoming one of the first crew chiefs to become operation ready. Eventually reassigned to the Titan III C project Office as a flight control specialist he was a member of the launch team placing a string of military communication satellites in orbit around the world. He spent his final Air Force years as an operational missile senior controller.
After moving to Paso Robles with his family, he worked first at the Color Wheel, then worked at Blake’s True Value Hardware in Paso Robles for 20 years until his second retirement.
Gene is survived by his wife Carol, his son Tom of Baton Rouge, LA and daughter Kathleen (Mark) Schoenau of Fresno, CA, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces. Gene is preceded in death by his daughter Kirsten Wilson, his parents, his brother Tom Swanson and sisters: Ferne Danielson, Helen Huckabone and Marjorie Sanders.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Gene’s name to the military charity of your choice.