Dennis Swanson

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died November 19, 2023

Escanaba, MI

Dennis C. Swanson, age 78, of Escanaba, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 19, 2023 at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, WI with his loved ones by his side.

Dennis was born February 21, 1945 in Escanaba. He graduated in 1963 Escanaba Area High School where he gained the nickname “diver” during his years playing football and recovering fumbles. He attended Stout State College for two years before enlisting into the United States Army. Dennis spent two years in Germany. After his honorable discharge, he went back to college and graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science Technology and Education.

Dennis was employed at Harnischfeger, Engineered Machine Products, Hannaville School District, along with many other places. He was a member of the Bethany Lutheran Church in Perkins, MI.  Even though he was strong willed and stubborn at times, he had an enormous heart and lively sense of humor.  He was generous, caring, and brave. He was clever and filled to the brim with knowledge gained through all of his life experiences.  He could fix or build anything and willingly gave his time and talents to anyone that asked for his assistance.  He helped build a hunting camp on his brother’s property and enjoyed spending time there with family and friends telling stories.

Dennis will be remembered for his best talent of all, with 46 years of experience being Santa.  He looked forward to the holiday season all year, carefully planning and making sure he could be Santa in as many events as he could each year.  His stories captured the hearts and curiosity of countless children, both young and old.  He always said you were never too old to sit on Santa’s lap and believe in the magic of Christmas.

He will be remembered for all the heart he shared with his friends and family. He truly loved each of them – and if you knew him, you knew it. When his time came, he carried himself with dignity, strength, and was full of love. He will be missed dearly.

As he said: Always believe, if only in your heart.

Dennis is survived by:

Children: Bert Swanson of Escanaba, MI

               Jodi (special friend: Truman) Jicha of Green Bay, WI

Brother: Roger Swanson of Stephenson, MI

Sister: Judy Nelson of Gladstone, MI

2 Grandchildren: Tyler and Nathan Jicha

Former Wife: Sherri Swanson of Escanaba, MI

And many Nieces, Nephews and Cousins

In addition to his Parents, Dennis is preceded in death by:

Sister: Lorretta “Lollie” Scheiber

Brothers: Larry and Don Swanson

Family will receive friends on Saturday, November 25, 2023 from Noon until 3:00 PM at the Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services will follow visiting hours at 3:00 PM at the Skradski Family Funeral Home in Escanaba. Military honors will be presented at the conclusion of the funeral service with a 21 Gun Salute to honor Dennis. A luncheon will follow at the AMVets in Escanaba from 4:00 until 6:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity in the local community to support children in honor of Dennis Swanson.

17 Tributes for “Dennis Swanson

    I will miss our breakfasts together and our interesting conversations, and your great brownies that I always took home after church

    Denny I will truly miss you! Thank you for all of mine and jeans life experiences! The camping, vacations, teaching me to drive! ! All the fun things! Rest easy Santa! I love you!

    He was apart of so many of my childhood memories! I was fortunate enough to have him be my Santa. My mom would only let me see him and he would come to our Christmas parties every year and make every party filled with Christmas magic. I’ll never forget the stories he told with the elves, reindeer, Frosty the snowman, and so many more. My favorite was pulling his beard! I have so many pictures of me doing that as a kid. He even came to my high school graduation party in his suit! He has continued to support me throughout my life. I always knew that I had a huge fan in the North Pole and now I know I have one more in heaven. He was a great guy and I’m so lucky to have had him in my life.

    Dennis spread so much joy at Christmas in the Village each year. He was so generous. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to the family.

    Denny always brought a smile to anyone he met. The joy Santa brought to the hearts of so many, including myself, will truly be missed. You’ll always be Santa to me!!

    Thoughts our with Santas family.We sure enjoyed seeing him during the holidays Our family enjoyed his visits for many years He will be missed but will be remembered as Santa .

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Dennis! He was such a great friend and Co worker! He was the best Santa you could ever have. Always there to share his Christmas spirit! All my wishes came true. Rest In Peace my friend.

    I didn’t know Dennis much as Santa but remember him when he was younger. I still remember when d
    to ride between 2 trees and got stuck and someone had to back the horse up so Dennis could get off. He was such a good sport about it when we all.laughed I will miss you

    Let me offer my condolences regarding the passing of your dad. He was a major part of our Christmas celebration. As I said before your dad started our Christmas celebration for 20+ years. I first met your dad and your mom at Gladstone old fashion Christmas. It was at this event that my daughter started inviting him to our annual Christmas party. These are. We started off with a small group of people at my house, and then it grew as everyone heard the real Santa attended. Everyone looked forward to having quality time with Santa. Your dad was truly special. I could call him anytime to fill the role of Santa for any celebration I organized whether it be at Pathways for people with developmental disabilities, Gladstone Kiwanis Tree Lightning, Cameron School, Cub Scout Troop and our Annual Christmas with Crow’s and Larson’s. He will be greatly missed by many. I wish I was able to attend service tomorrow. However, we will be traveling down to go see my daughter play at Grand Valley. Your dad was a big supporter of her playing basketball. She will cherish the secret box he made for her❤️

    I and so many children will miss Santa. I’ll also miss seeing Dennis at the races at the Fair Ground. I never saw him without a smile and he totally loved talking with everyone! Rest in Peace my friend!!!

    My kids had him each year for my grandkids. Each year would change houses and he still had that bond with the kids, he was one of a kind Santa and will truly be missed by all.

    I will miss Uncle Dennis for his stories. I always enjoyed them. He brightened up the room with his laughter. I’m so glad I was on the trip to Washington DC with him. It was such a wonderful trip. Thanks for the memories.

    I will never forget going to Shopko with my young granddaughter. As usual, we were stopped in the entrance way getting a gumball when Dennis came out. He stopped to chat for a moment and then reached into his pocket and handed her a picture of himself as Santa. The look on Abby’s face is etched in my mind forever. Thank you Dennis for creating that memory.

    Dennis will be missed by everyone that knew him. I grew up in the same neighborhood as he did so I’ve known him for years. He was a fantastic person bringing smile to all adults and children as he played Santa Claus, which
    he enjoyed and did so well.

    Got to know Santa when my son was in cub scouts years ago. Enjoyed seeing him dressed up playing the part. He was so real I truly believed. He was a frequent visitor at the Model Railroad Club and won quite a few train sets for lucky girls and boys thru the years. I will sure miss seeing his happy face around the village. But his legacy will live on. My thoughts and prayers are with you the family during this difficult time.

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