Theodore (Ted) Thomas Swanberg
Theodore (Ted) Thomas Swanberg passed away peacefully on March 3, 2021 at his home in Smithfield, Utah after a long battle with COPD.
Ted was born July 6, 1938 in Kalispell, Montana to Charles Sidney Swanberg and Vivian Grace (Gaffney) Swanberg. He was the youngest child and was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, brothers, Donald (Connie), Clifford (Margaret), and his sisters Betty Jo (Art) Gillett and Bonnie Jean Wheeler. Ted was the last living member of his family. He is survived by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well numerous nieces and nephews and several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. He called himself the “Patriarch” of the family!
Ted attended elementary school at Edgerton Elementary School in Kalispell. He lived across the street from Edgerton and during recess he would go home because he thought school was out. Ultimately, his parents and teacher decided that maybe he should wait one more year to begin his education. Several of his friends he started school with remained his close friends his entire life.
In 1955 Ted met a girl who became his best friend and forever girlfriend, Patty Riedinger. According to Pat, Ted was the best dancer at Flathead County High School and that was one of the reasons she agreed to go out with him. Ted loved music and was a drummer for the Flathead County High School band. He and Pat, who was a member of the baton twirling part of the band, had the opportunity to travel to many places in the United States as well as Canada and march with the band. After High School he was a drummer in a local dance band “The Flamingos.”
Nov. 4, 1956 Ted and Pat were married in Kalispell. They had four children David, Kelly, Jan and Melodee. They also raised their oldest granddaughter, Andrea.
When his children were young Ted worked part-time for Anderson Theater Company. On many occasions his children would accompany him to the different theaters and get to watch movies in the reel room.
Ted joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints in 1963 and found many, many friends. He held many callings and thoroughly enjoyed any job he was called to do. He loved the fact that the gospel answered many questions for him and he found comfort in knowing his Savior loved him greatly and was in charge. He found peace in knowing that his family would be his family eternally.
Ted worked for 41 years at Plum Creek Lumber Company. He made many lifelong friends who he still talked to the last week of his life. Ted would come home with all kinds of stories of jokes played on not only co-workers but also on managers and office personnel. His co-workers were a close, loving bunch of men and one day they sent his lunch box home with a surprise for his wife, who would get up and pack his lunch before he left for work, early in the morning. When she opened his lunch box, a small bird flew out and scared her so much that she refused to ever pack his lunch again! From that day on, Ted made his own lunches. Ted loved his gang at Plum Creek and kept track of each of his fellow workers. He loved to golf with his work buddies, and participated in many Plum Creek golf tournaments.
In his spare time Ted was a woodworker who over the years made many special pieces of woodwork for his family and friends. He built wooden toys for “Toys for Tots” He and his wife built two homes and remodeled nearly every home they ever lived in.
Ted retired from Plum Creek in 2004 and began another journey. This one was fighting colon cancer, which he did with all of his might. Two surgeries and six months of chemo later, Ted was told he was in remission where he remained throughout the rest of his life. When his chemo was finished Ted and Pat built their retirement home at Lake Five. They spent 11 wonderful years enjoying Glacier National Park in their backyard with family and friends coming and going. This was their heaven on earth.
After they moved to Lake Five, Ted worked in Glacier National Park driving shuttle buses. He loved his boss and his co-workers. He would come home and tell Pat about all the wonderful and different people he had met, many of whom had traveled from around the world to see his “backyard.”
After they retired they had the opportunity to work at the Cardston, Alberta, Canada Temple; which was a highlight of their life. They made many friends and enjoyed the serenity that working in the Temple gave them.
When Ted’s health started to get the best of him, Ted and Pat moved to Smithfield, Utah to be closer to family that could help care for him.
If you were a friend of Ted or Ted’s family then you were “Family” to him. Ted taught his family to love, be kind, charitable, honest and how to belly laugh. The light of his life were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Over the years he would rock many of them to sleep and show up to support them at their many activities. He was so proud of each and every one of them. Ted always said he was so blessed that he could live by some of his “Greats” and enjoy them, make paper airplanes, build gingerbread houses and do things that many great-grandparents do not get to do! Ted and Pat always said they had the best life ever.
Ted is survived by his wife Pat Swanberg, along with his four children David Swanberg, Kelly (Mike) Kopitzke, Jan Swanberg, and Melodee Swanberg Curtis; ex-daughter-in-law Tamara Olivas; grandchildren Paige Swanberg, Andrea (Randy) Bostwick, Lindsey (Ibrahime) Annab, Dylan Kopitzke, Megan (Cody) Wiberg, Lauren (Aaron) Gwin, Devin (AJ) Bitton, Alexander (Laura) Swanberg, Lucas Kopitzke and Ivy Curtis; great-grandchildren, Sirae Swanberg, Pierce Swanberg, Jaden Swanberg, Alaura Bostwick, Amirah Annab, LaNiyah Annab, Adalyn Bostwick, Avery Bostwick, Jessa Wiberg, Kooper Bitton, Ted’s namesake Theodore (Teddy) Bostwick; and soon to be 12th great-grandchild, baby Girl Wiberg.
No services are planned at this time. He has been cremated and a memorial is planned for Summer 2021 in Montana for his Family and friends. Condolences may be sent to: 15 East 200 South, Smithfield, UT 84335.
Ted will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. We all hope the memory of his life and the kind of person he was will inspire you to be like him.