Posted January 30, 2015
Arthur E. Swanson, 93, of Pine Grove Township, passed away Thursday at home. Born July 24, 1921, in Chicago, where he grew up on the southwest side in the area known as Brighton Park.
Arthur graduated from Kelly High School in 1939 where he was drum major in the marching band. He went to work at Caspers Tin Plate Co. as an office boy and enrolled, at the same time, to the Evening Division of Northwestern University with a goal of becoming a CPA.
Arthur served in the Army Air Force from October 1942 until November 1945 in England and Germany with the 357th Fighter Group, as an armorer/photographer, achieving the rank of staff sergeant. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with one Bronze Battle Star and one Silver Battle Star for Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, Air Offensive Europe, and the World War II Victory Medal. He also received The Polish Home Army Cross and served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for 10 years. In 1960, he was named a YMCA certified scuba instructor.
Arthur graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in accounting; and from Temple University with a master’s degree in management. He was an Illinois CPA and received the Fellow Award from the National Institute of Credit Management. He retired from McKesson Corp. as financial manager of the Northeast Region. Arthur was an adjunct professor in accounting and finance at Westfield State College, Westfield, Mass.
Together with John Woolnough, he helped establish the Eighth Air Force Historical Society, and served on the board, as well as finance manager, PX manager, and membership manager. Arthur was a life member of the society and of the Mighty 8th Air Force Heritage Center. He was treasurer of the 8th Air Force Memorial Museum Foundation. Arthur was the founder and past president of both the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society and the 357th Fighter Group Association. He was a member of the American Legion Post 374, and a life member of the VFW Post 3432. Arthur was also a member of the Fort Indiantown Gap Soldiers and Airmen Memorial Chapel.
He and his wife, Carolyn, traveled extensively, visiting 56 countries and islands. At one time, they were invited to a reception Lady Margaret Thatcher hosted in the war rooms under Number 10 Downing St. in London.
Arthur was treasurer of the Swatara Village Property Owners Association, as well as serving on the Board of Directors. He also served two terms as the auditor for Pine Grove Township.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur E. Sr. and LaDema Rardin Swanson; his beloved wife of 41 years, Carolyn; a son, Paul; two brothers, William and Jack Rardin; and a grandson, Eric.
Arthur is survived by a son, David Swanson, husband of Diane; four granddaughters; a great-grandson, Joseph Began; and a great-granddaughter, Marina Rose.