Wendell Gustave "Gus" Swanson died July 2, 2018. He was born April 1, 1937 in Royal Oak, Mich.
Gus moved west to Utah with his mother and sister, when he was 8 years old. He grew up there and graduated from South High in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended college but his main interest was racing motorcycles, competing in and won many big races throughout the west.
In 1961, he married Marlene Stocker and had two children: Todd and Teresa, and decided it was time to get serious about life. He joined the Naval Reserves and became an electrician. He enjoyed a 30-plus year career working in sales and management with Westinghouse, where he managed facilities in Pocatello, Idaho, Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and finally in Saudi Arabia.
After the death of his wife, Marlene, Gus moved from California back to Arizona. This is where he met and married his realtor Rosemary Heacock, and they embarked on an adventure of family, love and travel. They combined five teenage children and "wow" did the fun and chaos begin.
After his first semi-retirement he worked with Powell Electric and spent many years traveling the country by motorhome, mixing business with pleasure with many of his company associates, who became lifelong friends. Gus and Rosemary traveled to all 50 US states and around the world visiting 50 countries. But he always said, "no place better than the good ole USA." For the past 20 years, Show Low was a big part of the Swanson's life, because they spent six months of the year in the mountains and enjoying the many friends from Bison Golf Club.
Gus had a wonderful sense of humor, a joy of life, never knew a stranger, and was always fun to be with. He had a great passion for golfing and the shared camaraderie it brought. He also loved skiing, fishing, dancing, ice cream, ASU football, and themed family holidays. He was always a fighter.
Gus leaves behind his wife Rosemary of 37 years; children Tod (Julie) Swanson, Teresa Swanson, Jim (Robin) Heacock, Heather (Damian) Heacock, Stephanie (Brad) Heacock; seven grandchildren: Nick, Alec, Jake, Camryn, Baylee, John and Adam; one great-grandson, Kristopher; his only sister, Sandra Vincent, the South Dakota relatives - "The Outlaws," and the many, many friends who loved him.
He was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, brother, athlete, coach, master joke teller, negotiator, traveler and friend to all. "We will miss that wit, the Gus-isms and all the shared fun times. It would take a book to tell all of the stories associated with Gus.
A celebration of life (party) will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Hospice of the Valley or Shriners Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.