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Leslie Swedin

RAPID CITY | Leslie A. Swedin, 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at Hospice House after a long illness.

He was born Jan. 31, 1933, in Vermillion to Hugo and Arlyn (Severson) Swedin. Les was the eldest of four boys. Together with his brothers Lowell, Leo and Marlin, he grew up playing along the banks of the Missouri River where he developed his lifelong love of fishing. He worked summers in the fields around Vermillion and drove horse teams to help with plowing, he enjoyed horseback riding and became a plant and gardening expert. He graduated from Vermillion High School in 1951, where he played football for the Tanagers. Les served in the Army and the Army Reserve and was stationed in Germany in 1953.

Les married Joanne Conway on Nov. 10, 1955, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Vermillion. The couple had four children. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary before Joanne died on Nov. 14, 2017. Les’s job at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company (and the successor phone companies) took the family from Vermillion to Mitchell to Sioux Falls to Rapid City and finally to Inver Grove Heights, MN, before Les’s retirement after 41 years of service and moving back to Rapid City in 1993.

Les is survived by his daughter, Kris Swedin and husband Tom Mauter, of Santa Fe, NM; sons Mark Swedin and Michael Swedin and wife Rosa Swedin, all of Rapid City. Les and Joanne were blessed with 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Les was preceded in death by his daughter, Lori Ann in 1969, his parents, brothers and his wife.

Les was an activist and community volunteer. He and his family cared for more than 35 foster babies through Catholic and Lutheran Social Services. After the Rapid City Flood in 1972, Les was appointed to the Rapid City Planning Commission and worked to create the new land use pattern that would ensure the community would never again experience such devastating loss of life. He was Vice President of the Communication Workers of America Local 7505, was a member of the Knights Of Columbus, and supported his children and grandchildren through Harney Little League baseball and adult softball.

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Memorial visitation will begin at 6 p.m., with 7 p.m. prayer services Thursday, March 15, at Kirk Funeral Home.

Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, March 16, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral. Burial for Les and Joanne will follow at 12:30 p.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

A memorial has been established.

Friends may sign his online guestbook at Kirk Funeral Home’s website.

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