Carl William (Bill) Swanson

2/13/2024 - 4/24/2024


Bill's early years at the US Forest Service's Ranger Stations in Washington and Idaho, where he accompanied his father on ranger duties, instilled a deep commitment to service. This dedication continued even after his family relocated to Utah and Alaska. After graduating from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1966, Bill faced a pivotal decision to pursue a career as a minister or in law enforcement. True to his character, he chose to walk both paths, a testament to his unwavering commitment.

In 1966, Bill began his academic journey with pre-ministerial theology at Concordia College in Portland, OR. Amidst the Vietnam War, while many young men sought education deferment to avoid the draft, Bill enlisted in the US Air Force. He served until 1969, when he received a hardship discharge and returned home. Subsequently, he joined the Alaska State Troopers and dedicated 20 years of service across various outposts in Alaska before retiring in 1990. Transitioning to theology in 1994, Bill dedicated the following three decades to the Roman Catholic Church. He spent 17 years at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church - Archdiocese of Seattle, followed by 13 years at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

Bill’s family was his world; he cherished his wife, four children, and six grandchildren. His love for the outdoors was infectious, and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge of nature and fishing with his children and grandchildren. A talented woodworker, he found immense pleasure in crafting gifts for his loved ones and even selling some of his creations. His shed was his sanctuary, where he undertook house construction and renovation projects and lovingly restored his grandparents’ furniture. His thriving garden and lawn were a source of pride, and he adored dogs, especially his German Shepherd, Gretchen.

Bill is survived by his wife of 38 years, Loretta Ann (MacInnis) Swanson. He is also survived by two children: Dannika Ann (Ryan Cody) Cody and Kireena Claire Johnson. In addition, he had two children with Delores Jean Young: Karl William (Rebecca Peterson) Swanson and Shawn Edwin Swanson. Bill also leaves six grandchildren - Tristan, CJ, Lisa, Hannah, Chance, and Grant. His sisters, Violet Thetford and Karen Swanson-Woolf (Bill Woolf), and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends mourn his passing. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Carl William and Dorothy Lieu (McNeil) Swanson, and two grandchildren, Aurora Chase and Ranger Carl.

Instead of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to St. Mary Star of the Sea, Contributions can be made online or sent to 1335 Blaine Street, Port Townsend, Jefferson, WA, 98368. Alternatively, donations can be made to the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers, Inc. at 245 W 5th Ave., Ste 112, Anchorage, AK 99501, or online at to support goodwill among Alaska State Troopers. We sincerely appreciate your support during this difficult time

We invite you to honor Bill’s life at his memorial service, which will be held at St. Mary of the Sea, 1335 Blaine Street, Port Townsend, Jefferson, WA, on Saturday, May 11th, at 9:30 AM with mass.  A reception will be held at the church following the service. We welcome all who knew Deacon Bill to attend.