Jon Russell Swanson, 61, died peacefully at home on July 9, 2020 after a courageous battle against bladder cancer.
He was born on November 23, 1958 to Bettie and Russell Swanson and lived his childhood years in Bethel, Connecticut with his parents and siblings, Donna and Jimmy. In 1978 he moved to Westerville, Ohio and married his wife Peggy. They raised three awesome children, Cheryl, Jon, and Jeffrey who in turn married three awesome people, Mark, Rhonda, and Katherine, respectively.
Jon founded Collision One at age 29 and owned it for 25 years before deciding on a major career change. He sold his business and began writing and printing newsletters for companies in the automotive industry. While a risk-taker in business, Jon was also the type of person that would drive to the office in the middle of the night because he needed to check if he had locked the door. He was a member of First English Lutheran Church. He honored his Lord, Jesus Christ, by passionately serving the forgotten ones: those incarcerated in Ohio’s jails and prisons. He taught a weekly Bible study at an Ohio prison and he wrote and mailed daily Bible studies and Bibles to the many prisoners inspired by him who asked to learn more. He organized a prison prayer team with more than 250 members and distributed weekly prayer requests he gathered from prisoners through his ministry. Jon was very funny and had a witty perspective that could turn an otherwise boring aspect of life into a giggly one. When asked what brings him joy, he would immediately answer it was being with his family. In addition to his wife and children, he was “Papa” to his four beautiful grandchildren: Lila and Briggs Starybrat (Mark and Cheryl), Lillian Swanson (Jon and Rhonda), and Henry Swanson (Jeff and Katherine). His family enjoyed lovingly poking fun at his inability to leave the Ohio State Fair without buying some new gadget, his love of the food at the New Albany surgical hospital, his utter disdain for the many passwords required on the internet, his fondness for the Vitamix and his resulting Vitamix evangelism, the time he literally filled a moving box with dumbbells while packing for a move, his impressive ability to always use the wrong gender pronoun for every pet he ever encountered, the Donatos pizzas he brought home with the corners mysteriously missing and his deafening sneezes you could hear from down the street. We already miss his unique laugh that filled the house. Jon enjoyed building and creating. You would always find him working on projects, solving problems, and improving his surroundings. His hands were perpetually oil-stained from his tinkering and hard work. He never tip-toed into a project; if he woke up thinking a door needed to be wider, there was a hole in the wall before breakfast. His kids called him for advice on every household or car-related quandary that arose and he always had a quick solution. Jon was passionate about the pursuit of knowledge, he studied and learned his entire life. He was a good man, steadfast and honest; someone to be counted on. Jon will be missed by many.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Kairos of Ohio. http://kairosohio.org/donate.html “Lord, when was it that you were sick or in prison and we helped you?” And Jesus answered them “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these who are members of my family, you did for me.” `Matthew 25: 39-40.
A memorial to celebrate Jon’s life will be held at First English Lutheran Church (1015 E Main St. Columbus, OH) on Saturday, July 18 at 11 am with calling hours beginning at 10 am. It may be hot so we encourage you to dress comfortably. Service will be livestreamed on the Hill Funeral Home YouTube channel. In respect of Jon’s wishes, a password will not be required.