Knud Walker Swensen (Kay), 93, of Parowan, Utah passed away on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at his home.
Kay was born March 11, 1919 in Pleasant Grove, Utah to Ezra James and Elsie Walker Swensen, the fifth of 11 children. He learned the value of hard work and unselfish service on the family farm as a boy, a theme throughout his life.
He worked at various jobs and attended Brigham Young University prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army in February of 1941. He trained as an officer in the field artillery attaining the rank of captain and serving in the European theatre of WWII. Among many citations he received the Bronze Star. Though he rarely spoke of his time in the service, he was a leader and a hero to his children.
He met his future wife Shirley Nadene Bennion while attending BYU. He was immediately smitten with her beauty and intellect. They corresponded during his time in the military and were married September 4, 1946 in Picture Butte, Alberta, Canada. They were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple on September 27, 1946.
Kay attended Idaho State University graduating with a BS in pharmacy in 1949. He worked as a pharmacist and as a Rexall sales representative eventually acquiring his own business in Arlington, Washington in 1957, (Swensen Rexall Drug), and a second store in Stanwood, Washington. In 1975 he and Shirley sold the business and moved to Tucson, Arizona where he continued to work as a pharmacist. Kay and Shirley eventually moved to Southern Utah where they have lived until the present.
He was a member of the Arlington Kiwanis Club and Arlington Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Chairman of the Arlington School Board which allowed several of his children the privilege of receiving from him, High School diplomas including his signature. He also volunteered as a Little League basketball coach.
He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed a wide variety of interests including hiking, camping, hunting, horseback riding, boating, golf and travel. However, his greatest joy was including his children in each of his many activities. Kay was known for his gardening skills. He knew how to make things grow and flourish. He was also creative, taking up rug looming, lapidary, bird house construction and stained glass in his retirement. Friends and family were the fortunate recipients of these talents.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in many callings including Bishop, High Councilor, and Seminary teacher. Notably, he was the first Branch President of the Arlington LDS Church in 1957. To all who knew him, Knud was a man of kindness and integrity, a respecter of all persons. He was an exemplary father of nine children, devoted husband, grandfather and friend. Shirley was the love of his life as observed by all of his children. His family was his highest priority and joy. He will never be far from them because of the way he loved and lived during his journey here.
Knud is survived by his wife Shirley whose loving care sustained him at home for the last several years of his life. He is survived also by his children G. Knude Swensen, Gayle Rapier, Peggy Grimmius, Shelley Porter, Eric Swensen, Kirk Swensen, Shane Swensen and Tyler Swensen; and his brothers James Bernard Swensen and Morris Dee Swensen; 39 grandchildren and 43 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents Ezra and Elsie Swensen, his son Paul Swensen, his grandson Christian Swensen, and his siblings Blaine Swensen, Mildred Ferre, Lorraine Boyer, Laura McIntyre, Lee Swensen, Chastina Swensen, Boyd Swensen and John Swenson.
Funeral services were held Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at the Cedar Hills Chapel in Cedar Hills, Utah. Interment followed the funeral at the Utah Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery.