The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Gustave Benedict 'Gus' Swanson


DULUTH, Minn. - Gustave Benedict "Gus" Swanson, 97, of Ironwood, Mich., died Wednesday evening, May 24, 2017, at Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth.

He was born May 14, 1920, in Ironwood, son of the late Gustave A. and Constance (Bonino) Swanson, attended Ironwood schools and graduated from Ironwood High School in 1938. He then attended Ironwood Junior College from 1939-1940 and worked as a machinist for Held Gauge Co. in Detroit from 1941-1943. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in North Africa and Italy during World War II from 1943 to his honorable discharge in 1945.

Following his discharge from the Army, Gus worked as a machinist for Acme Metal Stencil and Die in Los Angeles in 1946 and for Evinrude Motors in Milwaukee from 1947-1949. He attended Stout University from 1949-1952, graduating with honors (high distinction) and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial arts in 1952 and a Master of Science degree in vocational education in 1957. He then taught industrial arts and vocational machine shop at Ironwood High School and machine technology and mechanical drawing at Gogebic Community College from 1952 to his retirement in 1982. His hobbies included fishing, machining model steam engines and drawing mechanical art. He was a member of Ironwood American Legion Post 5.

He was also known for his generosity and philanthropic spirit throughout the Ironwood community. He has funded hundreds of scholarships for students to attend college over the years through the Ironwood Area Scholarship Foundation, Gogebic Community College Foundation and Stout University Foundation. Gus Swanson also supported many local organizations such as American Legion Post 5, Carnegie Library, Regional Hospice, HOPE Animal Shelter, Domestic Violence Escape Inc., the Salvation Army, Historic Ironwood Theater, Theater North, Ironwood High School music programs and other programs at the Luther L. Wright K-12 School. Gus Swanson touched many lives in many ways and made a difference in everyone fortunate enough to know him.

Surviving are a niece, Connie Swanson; nephew, Donald Swanson Jr .; sister-in-law, Ellen Swanson; and his closest friends, Ray (Pat) Begalle and Eila Thomas.

Besides his parents, Gus was predeceased by two brothers, Robert and Donald.

Out of respect for his wishes, cremation has taken place and no services will be held.

Private inurnment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ironwood Area Scholarship Foundation at 650 Ayer St., Ironwood, MI 49938.

Arrangements were with McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood. Condolences may be expressed online at


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