Ernest 'Ernie' Swanson


Ernest L. “Ernie” Swanson, 91, of Wayne,died Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Kinship Pointe Assisted Living in Wayne.

Services will be on Monday, July 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Concordia Lutheran Church in Concord with Pastor Deb Valentine officiating. Burial will be at the Concord Cemetery with military rites by Laurel VFW Posts 5404 and 54. Visitation will be on Sunday from 5 – 8 p.m. at the church. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services on Monday.  Face masks are preferred to be worn for the visitation and the funeral.  Church capacity will be 125 people. 

Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Laurel.

Ernest L. “Ernie” Swanson was born Dec. 17, 1928 in Wakefield. He grew up on a crop/livestock farm north of Wayne with his mother and father Clara (Goldberg) and Emil Swanson and sister, Ardyce. He attended Cozy Nest country school then graduated from Concord High School in 1947. Ernie joined the Army in 1951, serving in the Korean War. In 1948, while attending a skating party in Laurel, Ernie spotted Lyla Paulsen as she was “6 inches above the other girls”.  He courted her for several years, and the two were engaged before he shipped off to Korea and the wedding was planned by mail. The two were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Coleridge on June 19, 1952 while he was on Army leave and their initial home was in San Luis Obispo, Calif. where he was stationed.  

Following the war, Ernie started farming and feeding cattle at the home place which has now been in the family 117 years.  Ernie and Lyla started their family when their oldest son, Regg, was born in July of 1953, followed by Ann in September of 1954, and Lon was born eight years later in September of 1962. It was important for him to provide the best life he could for his family, so he humbly worked extremely hard and passed that quality on to his children. Ernie was very active in the community and respected by all he came into contact with. He was baptized and confirmed in Concordia Lutheran Church and served on numerous Boards and Committees. He retired from farming in 1994, then he and Lyla operated a Bed and Breakfast near Wayne for another 15 years. Ernie loved flowers and plants, maintaining his pristine yard and greenhouse.  He especially enjoyed spending time with and following his nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was a loving father, grandfather, and great grandfather. His faith, love for his family, and smile will live on in our hearts.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Lyla of Wayne; three children Regg (Adora) Swanson of Nolensville, Tenn.; Ann (Steve) Scholl of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; and Lon (Becky) Swanson of Overland Park, Kan.; grandchildren Casey (Jay) Gruber, Brit Swanson (fiancé Melissa Minger) Lisa Scholl (fiancé Eric Stroud), Eve (Jefferson) Adcock, Scott Scholl, Blakely Swanson, Hunter Swanson (fiancé Lauren Freking), Parker Swanson, and Will Swanson, as well as five great-grandchildren, Miles and Charlotte Gruber, Tyler, Holt, and Adelaide Adcock; a sister Ardyce Johnson of Laurel.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Evert Johnson, and grandson, Andrew Scholl. 

Pallbearers will be Brit Swanson, Scott Scholl, Hunter Swanson, Parker Swanson, Will Swanson, and Regg Ward. 

Honorary pallbearers will be Ernest’s granddaughters.