Rev. Dr. Roger Kendall Swanson, 88, of Newton died on Sunday, March 5, 2023, at Park Centre. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church. The service will be also be live streamed on www.newtonfirst.org. The family will greet friends from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the First United Methodist Church may be left at the church the day of the service or at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
Roger, the son of Carl and Helen (Sawtell) Swanson, was born on March 22, 1934 in Brockton, Massachusetts. He grew up in Brockton and graduated from Brockton High School. He was a talented clarinet/sax player and played with many professional bands. He then attended and graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. While there he would meet his future wife, Beverly Lindberg. Roger then would continue his education receiving his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry at Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey. Roger and Beverly were united in marriage on August 11, 1956 at Emmanuel Methodist in Minneapolis. They made their home in New Jersey for 35 years. During that time Roger served Methodist congregations in Newfoundland, Branchville, Linden, Hackettstown, Union Village, and Bridgewater. In 1991, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee where Roger would serve as the Director of Evangelism for the Methodist Church. They later moved to Florida where Roger would continue to serve in a similar capacity for that area. In 2011, Roger and Beverly moved to Newton, Iowa. While in Newton, Roger served as the Pastor at the Wittemberg Church.
Beverly and Roger enjoyed traveling and did summer pastoral exchanges in England and Scotland. They also traveled to the World Methodist Conference in Africa and led many trips to the Holy Land. Roger also enjoyed both vegetable and rose gardening.
Roger is survived by his children, Rachel (Terry) Faidley of rural Colfax and Philip L. (Kimberly Edwards-Swanson) of Flemington, New Jersey; his grandchildren, Meredith (Lonnie) Miller, Megan McKay, Adam Swanson, Sarah Swanson (Jackson Rehmet), and Abigail Swanson; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Beverly in 2013; and siblings, Gladys Smith, Richard T. Swanson, Dorothy Swanson, and Harold Swanson.