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Charles A. Swendsen

Posted October 25, 2012 in Obituaries, Grimes

November 13, 1915 – October 18, 2012

Charles Swendsen

Charles Arnold Swendsen, son of Carl and Anna Swendsen, Danish immigrants, was born on November l3, l915 in Astor, IA. He left this life on October 18, 2012 while under Hospice care at Spurgeon Manor, Dallas Center at the age of 96. He would have been 97 on November l3th.

Charlie, as he was known to everyone, graduated from Dallas Center High School in l933. He attended Iowa State College for a short time then traveled with a Publishing Company throughout the United States. Many will remember him working in Holsman’s Hardware until he enlisted in the Navy in 1941 and served aboard Submarines where his duty took place in enemy waters in the Pacific until the war ended. One of the two boats, the Silversides he served on, is now moored alongside a National Navy Museum in Muskeghan, Michigan. One of his greatest wishes was to visit this boat and in April of 2009, his wish was made possible when the entire family had the great privilege of touring the boat due to the efforts of his very close friend, Luke Little. The tours provide information to young and elderly visitors about how life aboard a submarine was endured.

Charlie and Arlene Hawbaker were married in the Methodist Church, Dallas Center, in l948. When their sons were two and four, they moved to Sutherland, IA for l7 years. In l970 they located in Pocahontas, IA, where he traveled for a Hydraulic Cylinder Co. based out of Pocahontas. After retirement in l989, they built a home at Lake Okoboji, IA where they resided until 2007. Charlie loved the lake and spend many hours fishing with his friends and teaching his three grandsons the art of catching fish. The sports of hunting and golf were an important part of his retirement years. In 2007, Charlie and Arlene moved into a Town House in Dallas Center, IA, part of the Spurgeon Manor Village complex.

Those cherishing his memory are Arlene, his wife of 64 years, sister, Dorothy Caudill of Des Moines, IA, sons Lee, his wife Pamela and son Alex of Fletcher, North Carolina, David and wife Mary Lee, sons Jim and his fiancee Anne Tyson and Dan, all of Edina, Minnesota. Three sisters-in-law, Pat Hawbaker, Adel, Iowa, Louise Fitz, Brownsburg, Indiana, Pearl Gerich and husband Ed of Arroyo Grande, California, brother-in-law Charles Hawbaker and wife Donna of Bella Vista, Arkansas, numerous nieces, nephews and close friends. Sister, Margaret Bernhard, brothers-in-law Sam Hawbaker, Bud Fitz, and Dr. George Caudill, all preceded him in death.

Memorial services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas Center on October 29th at 10:00 AM with friends able to greet the family one hour before the service. Graveside services will be held 12:30pm Monday, October 29, at the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery near Van Meter, IA.

A heartfelt thank you to all who touched Charlie’s long life.

Memorials may be directed to Dallas Center American Legion, First Presbyterian Church or Spurgeon Manor Hospice.


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Brandt Dallas Center Chapel
1301 Ash Street
Dallas Center, IA 50063

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