Music 03

John Frederick Swanson

May 23, 1947 ~ January 14, 2019 (age 71)


     John Frederick Swanson, a long time Minneapolis resident, died at Hearthside Assisted Living in Sister Bay, Wisconsin on Monday January 14, 2019 at the age of 71, after a brief struggle with cancer.

   John was born in Berwyn, Illinois on May 23, 1947, son of the late Kermit and Jean (White) Swanson, and moved with his family to Naperville eight years later. After graduating from Naperville Central High School, he earned a degree in English Literature from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis. He lived and worked in Bloomington, Chicago and Madison making dear friends in each town.

     In 1987, John moved to Minneapolis and launched a long and distinguished career on the staff of the Minnesota Orchestra. A man of great kindness and rare intellect, he was known for exemplary work, courtesy and honesty, whether as executive assistant to three consecutive presidents or as an extraordinary editor and proofer when assisting with major publications. After retiring in 2013, John pursued his lifelong interests in reading, movies, music and nurturing his many friendships.

     John planned to move in 2019 to be near his family in Door County, WI. where he had spent six months prior to the death of his mother in 2018, and where he was a proud to have become honorary member of the Northern Door Book Club.

     John is survived by his sister, Jude Swanson Teicher of Sister Bay; brother, Carl Swanson of Baileys Harbor; nieces, Rachael Swanson (Dan Smrz) of Fish Creek and Sarah Bergwin (Michael Bergwin) of Sister Bay; great-nephews, Leif Bergwin and Owen Bergwin; and great-niece, Zetta Bergwin.

     A celebration of John’s life will be held in Minneapolis in May of 2019. Memorial gifts are suggested to Hearthside CBRF, The Peninsula Music Festival, The Midsummer Music Festival, Northern Door Children’s Center, Unity Hospice or to a charity of the donor’s choice. John’s family wishes to thank Martha Coventry and the staff at Hearthside for their loving, professional care.

     Casperson Funeral Home in Sister Bay is assisting the family.  Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos of John may be shared with his family at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Frederick Swanson, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of John Frederick Swanson
© 2020 Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS