John William Swaren was born at Galahad, Alberta on January 16, 1933 to his parents John and Hazel Swaren. He passed away peacefully at Stettler, Alberta on August 15, 2014.
He was raised on the family farm in the Grainland district southeast of Forestburg. John had seven siblings; five sisters and two brothers, along with many cousins and neighbours. John also had a third brother, Dennis, who died as an infant. He had many happy memories of growing up in such a large family, as well as spending time with his friends doing everything from riding horses to shooting rabbits to playing cards.
John started working on the farm at an early age and loved spending time working in the field with horses. Over the years, John worked for many other farmers in the area, doing all manners of jobs from threshing to baling hay. He especially enjoyed his years working for Bud Tull at the TH Ranch as well as Otto and Mary Scheler. He forged many long-lasting friendships during this time.
In the late 1950s and early ´60s, he and his oldest brother Stan also ran a small trucking business in Forestburg, delivering coal from the nearby Diplomat Mine, to people in town for their furnaces.
John and Stan went together and bought a piece of land on the eastern outskirts of Donalda, in about 1959. This was to become John’s home for the next 50 or more years. In 1961 he met Judy McDonald and they were married on August 31, 1963.
Over the years, they would raise a family of five children in their little farm on the edge of the coulees. In addition to his own farming, John continued to work for other local farmers during spring seeding and harvesting. In 1974, he started doing the rural mail delivery, a job he would continue to do for the next 23 years, retiring from it in 1997. John never completely retired though, continuing to farm up until just a few years ago. John loved his farm animals and even up to the present day, still had three horses and some chickens on the farm.
John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Judy, his four daughters: Melinda (Danny), Melody, Merry, Marina (Shayne), and one son Tim, along with five grandchildren: Heather (Jonny), Ashley, Cara, Jayden and Madison. He also leaves to mourn his passing, his sisters: Claudia, Fran, Laverna and Carol and his two brothers Stan and Dick. He was predeceased by both of his parents in 1965, his infant brother Dennis in 1929, and his sister Viola in 2012. He also leaves behind many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to mention.
A celebration of John’s life was held on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at the Donalda Community Hall, Donalda, Alberta with Pastor Rick Laurendeau officiating. Family memories were lovingly presented by son Tim Swaren. Pianist Susan Dahl shared her gift of music playing for the congregational hymns The Old Rugged Cross and Amazing Grace. A time of sharing memories and a luncheon prepared and served by Teresa’s Catering followed the service. John was laid to rest at the Pleasington Cemetery near Forestburg, Alberta. Donations in memory of John Swaren may be made to Pleasington Historical Society or a charity of choice c/o Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium, Box 1780, Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0, 403-742-3422, who were entrusted with the care and arrangements. To send or view condolences to John’s family, please visit www.stettlerfuneralhome.com