James Martin “Jim” Swanson


BYRON – James Martin “Jim” Swanson, 82, a lifelong resident of the Byron/Stillman Valley area, passed away on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, surrounded by his family, at the Medina Manor Nursing Home in Durand. Jim was born on Sept. 12, 1937, to Martin and Pauline (Dietrich) Swanson.

Jim graduated from Byron High School in 1955 and the University of Illinois with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Following college graduation, Jim enlisted in the United States Army, where he served his country in Germany. He married Linda Williams on Aug. 28, 1965. He worked at Stillman Bank for 30 years where he enjoyed his time as both a Loan Officer and Senior Vice President; always willing to take a chance on farmers and business owners during a time when a man’s handshake was worth more than his signature. Following retirement, Jim was a member of the Ogle County Board where he served for 10 years.  Jim was an avid sports fan who spent time rooting for the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and the Fighting Illini. He enjoyed talking with his two sons about how the cattle and crops were doing. He and Katie both enjoyed their conversations on the way to school each morning. Jim thoroughly enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and livestock shows. Time spent with family was everything to him. 

Jim is survived by his wife of 55 years, Linda; children, Eric (Jill) Swanson, Adam Swanson, Byron, Katie (Brent) Schmadeke, Crofton, Md.; six grandchildren, Kylie, Keelyn, Alex, Wyatt, Zeke, Alayna; sister, Carol (Don) Battenberg of Johnson Creek, Wis., and his little dog Rocky; and numerous members of the Dietrich and Swanson families. 

He was predeceased by his parents.

 A visitation was held on Friday, Jan. 31 from 9-10:45 a.m. at the Kishwaukee Church, 8195 Kishwaukee Road, Stillman Valley. A memorial service followed the visitation at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Eric Tonjes pastor of the church officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s name can be made to Serenity Hospice and Home, 1658 IL-2, Oregon, IL 61061 or the Ogle County Fair Association, 1440 N. Limekiln Rd, Oregon, IL 61061. 

The family would like to thank the staff at Medina Manor (Durand), Serenity Hospice (Oregon), Pastor Eric Tonjes & Kishwaukee Church Congregation for their loving care and support. Visit www.farrellhollandgale.com to leave a condolence or memory.