Canandaigua: May 26, 2014 at age 64. Survived by his wife of 36 years Nancy (Becker) Swanson. Children; Christina Swanson of Boston, MA and Neil Swanson of Canadice. Brother Gaylord (Alison) Swanson of Clarksville, and Niece Stacey Swanson of Albany. Graydon was a US Navy Veteran, a loving husband and caring father. He will be remembered for his warm and wonderful sense of humor.
Graydon N. Swanson was born on September 26th, 1949 to parents Lois and Oscar Swanson of Frewsburg, NY. Early on he had diverse interests, enjoying everything from music and tap dancing to car repair, shooting and a bit of pyromania. Graydon attended Frewsburg High School where he ran track and was part of the debate team. He is most remembered in high school for helping his friend Jim, who was partially handicapped from Polio, move from class to class.
Graydon attended The College at Brockport earning a degree in Earth Science. Afterwards, he had hoped to complete a doctorate in geology, but ended up joining the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. Graydon served 14 years in the US Navy as a Supply Corp officer. The Navy took him to many exciting places including tours in Egypt, the Philippines, Antarctica and Italy. From these travels, he collected many stories and a couple treasures.
By far the best treasure that Graydon “collected” on his journey was his wife Nancy Swanson. Graydon and Nancy met early on at the edge of the Erie Canal just a few months after he had graduated from college and she had begun. Nancy had a term paper to write on the canal. Graydon was working on the canal for a few months. A conversation began. A double date was suggested. A spark was stirred. And six years later, marriage was proposed.
While life bumped happily along for a while, the quiet was not to last. At the age of 30, Graydon was out running on the track and his left leg gave out. This happened again and again. He mentioned it to his doctor, who referred him to a Neurologist. Without the modern day MRIs, six years passed before the doctors could confirm he had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While MS would eventually steal his mobility, his independence, and eventually his life, it was this grave struggle that also highlighted Nancy and Graydon’s strength as a couple and as individuals.
During this time, Graydon and Nancy raised two children, Neil Swanson of Springwater, NY and Christina Swanson of Boston, MA. Although struggling with the symptoms of his disease and his decreasing mobility, Graydon dutifully took care of the children while Nancy worked full-time for the US Navy. He helped them write books, complete homework, build tree forts and learn how to swim. He even learned how to braid hair! But as Graydon’s condition worsened, the tables turned and Nancy, Christina and Neil began to care for him. During his final years, Nancy cared for him daily in their home demonstrating the meaning of unconditional love. Together they remained optimistic and faced the hardships of the disease with humor and love.
As a loyal husband, a loving father, and a Naval veteran, Graydon N. Swanson will be dearly missed.
His funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 31, 2014, at 11am at the Canadice Methodist Church, 5949 Canadice Hill Road, Canadice, NY. Pastor Juls Foos and Chaplain Pamula Royal will be officiating. Burial with full military honors will be held at the Canadice Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Canadice Hill Cemetery Association, C/o Joan Hardy, 4473 Cty Road 33, Honeoye, NY 14471, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1650 South Ave #100, Rochester, NY 14620 or the Canandaigua VA General Purpose Fund, 400 Fort Hill Ave, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Arrangements entrusted to the Kevin W. Dougherty Funeral Home Inc, Livonia-Honeoye. To send a condolence and for further information please visit: