Cover photo for Gary D. Swanson's Obituary
Gary D. Swanson Profile Photo
1940 Gary D. 2023

Gary D. Swanson

January 22, 1940 — April 21, 2023

To watch Gary's Memorial Service use the link below


Gary Dale Swanson, 83, of Grand Forks, died on Friday, April 21, 2023 at Altru Hospital.

Gary was born on January 22, 1940 in Grand Forks, ND to Gunder and Edna (Knutson) Swanson. At age 9 he survived polio, losing full use of his left arm. But he never let that hold him back. He grew up in Grand Forks and graduated from Central High in 1958. He was a lifetime member of Sharon Lutheran Church.

He graduated from UND in 1962 with a BS in Education and a major in social studies, and in 1965 with a Master of Education.  His first four years found him in Edmore, ND, and Stephen, MN teaching high school English. His second year at Stephen introduced him to a newly hired biology/physical education teacher, Dorothy Hankins.

 August 6, 1966 he made Dottie his bride, marrying at her home church, Our Savior’s Lutheran in Solon Springs, WI.  The newlyweds settled into life in Grand Forks where they enjoyed 56 years of marriage. Gary and Dottie eventually grew their family with daughter, Nissa, and son, Eric.

 Gary worked as a library specialist in the Grand Forks Public Schools for 35 years, retiring in 2001. He worked at Schroeder and South Junior High Schools, and at Central and Red River High Schools.  Due to all the years with students and staff he was well known and beloved by many.

 Additionally, Gary had a summer lawn care business for many years. He enjoyed making lists, camping, UND hockey, coffee around town, walking in the mall or at Target, and Lionel Trains. Volunteering at Sharon Lutheran, Empire Arts and the GFPS Retired Teachers were also important to him. He loved deeply and cared generously for his family and friends.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents.  He is survived by his beloved wife, Dottie; daughter Nissa (Jon) Deibler, Canandaigua, NY; son Eric (Cindy) Swanson, New Market, MD; and grandchildren Emma and Ben Deibler and Sophie and Christian Swanson.

 A celebration of Gary’s life  will be  at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at Sharon Lutheran, Grand Forks with visitation one hour prior to the service in the church. 




To order memorial trees in memory of Gary D. Swanson, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life Service

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 19

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree

Send a Card

Send a Card