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Rev. Dan Swanson, 71

The Rev. Danville Karl Swanson, age 71, of Cokato, former longtime pastor at First Baptist Church in Cokato, passed away Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

He was born Oct. 1, 1945, in Albert Lea, to Ivan and Nellie (Salley) Swanson.

Dan grew up in Estherville, IA, and graduated from Estherville High School in 1963.

He went on to Estherville Community College, then Mankato State College, graduating in 1967, with a degree in teaching. He taught for three years in West Bend and Fremont-Mills, IA.

Dan married Cindy Simkins Aug. 16, 1969. They were married by the Rev. Olaf Nelsen in Youngstown, OH.

Dan went on to attend Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, graduating with a masters of divinity degree in 1974. Dan and Cindy served faithfully at four different churches: Bakerview Baptist in Ferndale, WA, Union Baptist in Estherville, IA, Bethany Baptist in Pittsburgh, PA, and First Baptist Church in Cokato, where he served from 1990 till 2012, when he retired from full-time ministry.

Dan enjoyed golf, reading, movies of all kinds, playing cards at family gatherings, and oldies music. He especially enjoyed spending time with family on vacations.

Until the end, he was famous (infamous!) for his attempts at humor and his desire to make people laugh. He was a true servant, who would give the shirt off his back to help.

Dan absolutely loved people – he never met a person who didn’t walk away from him feeling genuinely cared about. However, the most important things in Dan’s life were God, his family, and his congregation.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ivan and Nellie Swanson; and his niece, Caryl Verbrugge.

Dan is survived by his wife, Cindy of Cokato; his children, Beth (Mark) Roelofs of Spokane, WA; Andy Swanson of Hopkins, and Greg (Angela) Swanson of Otsego; his grandchildren, Marin and Annika Roelofs and Madilyn, Brylee, and Emily Swanson; his sisters, Sally (Bernie) Verbrugge of Armstrong, IA, and Laura (Steve) Young of Estherville, IA; and many nieces, nephews, and other extended family.

Funeral services took place Saturday, June 24 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Cokato. Interment was in Estherville, IA.

There was visitation Friday, June 23 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the church, continuing Saturday one hour prior to the service.

Arrangements were with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato; www.swansonpeterson.com.

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