Obituaries: Donald Gary Swanson


Donald Gary

Donald Gary Swanson went to be with the Lord on February 17, 2019. He was born in Los Angeles California June 11, 1935.
He was predeceased by his parents Rex and Elsie (Robinson) Swanson, his brother Loren, and his first wife of 43 years, Kathryn (Epp). He is survived by his second wife Mary Ann (Oliver), his children Lynne (Yang) and her husband, A-Sen, Chris and his wife, Cindy, Robert and his wife, Connie, his step-children Andy and Beth Beno, Mike and Susan Tate, and Brent Langford; along with his grandchildren: Jacob, Toby and Isabel Swanson, Olivia and Nicholas Yang, and 7 step-grandchildren: and 3 great grandchildren.
Dr. Swanson was a faithful and active member of Trinity United Methodist Church for over 30 years, was a member of the choir, a Sunday-school teacher, and a board member.
After earning 2 bachelor’s degrees, one in Physics and the other in Theology, at the University of Oregon and Northwest Christian College, respectively, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in physics at California Institute of Technology. He enjoyed a long and successful career as a professor of electrical engineering and physics at the University of Texas, University of Southern California and retired from Auburn University where he taught for over 30 years and served as Chair of the Faculty Senate. Throughout his career he published multiple articles and books in the areas of plasma physics and magnetic fusion energy.
In addition to his career, he enjoyed family, friends and singing in the Auburn-Opelika Chorale. He was well-known in the Auburn-Opelika area as the “Egg man” for his beautifully painted Ukranian eggs, displayed at art fairs, museums and generously shared with friends and family.
He was devoted to his family and deeply touched each of our lives. He lived a very fulfilling life and now he will enjoy being with his Lord for eternity.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church on March 9, 2019, at 1:00 P.M. Visitation will follow in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made to the Missions Fund at Trinity United Methodist Church, 800 Second Avenue, Opelika, Alabama 36801.


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