In Memoriam

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Raymond Swanson ’60

Raymond Leonard Swanson ’60, October 11, 2002, of cancer, in his home in Olympia, Washington. Ray attended Reed for four years with a focus in biology, and served as an Army M.P. in Korea. His 50-year career in plant work spanned the greenhouses and nurseries of the West Coast and Canada, including the Boulevard Nursery in Olympia, Washington, which he owned from 1978 to 2001. Swanson was a member of the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, and of specialty plant societies, reflecting his particular interest in rhododendrons and orchids. With the Ag-Forestry Educational Foundation of Washington, he traveled to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 1992. He enjoyed vegetable gardening along with his horticultural pursuits, and music, reading, and fishing. Ray believed that "you should live life like you would die tomorrow and learn like you would live forever." He married Janet Schmidt; they had three children, and later divorced. He is survived by his wife, Sue, whom he married in 1984, his daughter and sons, including Steven L. Swanson ’84, three grandchildren, and his mother and sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2003

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