Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Obituary: Vernon Nels Swenson - Class of 1936

MADISON [Wisconsin] - Vernon Nels Swenson, age 85, died on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2002, at the Don and Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center, Fitchburg. He was born on April 9, 1917, in Madison, the son of Nels and Catherine (Toellner) Swenson. Vernon is survived by his wife, Jean Carlson; children, Nels (Jill) Swenson of Oregon, and Mark Swenson and Karen (Lonny) Raymond, both of Madison; grandchildren, Ty, Kaylee and Statia Swenson, Travis, Jesse and Calvin Raymond, and Heather Swenson; Jean's children, Van (Julie) Carlson of Minnesota, Jan (Linda) Carlson of Washington, and Brian Carlson of Colorado; and Jean's grandchildren, Brent, Peter, Ryan, Heidi, Nick and Annette Carlson. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty Ann Zuehlke; and sisters, Lillian (Otto) Paskey and Mildred (Wally) Kearnes. Vernon graduated from Madison Central High School in 1936. He received his bachelor's degree from UW-Whitewater and his master's degree from New York University. Vernon was employed as business education department head from 1946 until 1954 at Sheboygan Vocational and Adult Education School. From 1954 until 1983, he served as chief supervisor at the state Office of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education. In that capacity, Vernon worked closely with district vocational schools and other state educational agencies. He was an honorary member of the Delta Pi Upsilon. Vernon is known as the "father of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) in Wisconsin" and received many DECA awards. He was active in sports and later a spectator. During World War II, Vernon received the Purple Heart and was currently a member of VFW Post No. 7541. There are a number of educational organizations with which he was identified, such as Vocational and Adult Education Association, Wisconsin Business and Distributive Education, National Adult Education Association, and, in retirement, the Wisconsin Retired Educators Association. Vernon served as deacon and elder at Christ Presbyterian Church and later became a 50-year member of the church. Funeral services will be held at CHRIST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 944 E. Gorham St., Madison, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002, with the Rev. John Thomas officiating. Burial will be held at Roselawn Memorial Park. Friends may call at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, 2002. Memorials may be made to Christ Presbyterian Church or the Wisconsin Retired Educators Association. Friends and family will remember Vern for his faith, his wisdom, his kindness, his joy of life, and his encouragement. Vern and his family are very grateful for the tender, compassionate, and thoughtful care provided by the entire staff at Don and Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center. Gunderson East Funeral Home (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on August 28, 2002; submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)

1 comment:

stevenwhinfield said...

Mark and Karen I am so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. He was very much loved by my family. I' sorry it took so long for me to find you. Steve Whinfield