Russell K. Swanson, 104, of Sabetha, Kansas passed away Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
In the late 1920’s Russell attended the Birdwing Aviation School in St. Joseph, Missouri where he received his aviation transport license. He built his own plane and did barnstorming around the country for several years. He knew and flew with Howard Hughes and Charles Lindberg.
He then opened his own aviation school in Kansas City, Missouri but the depression put an end to the school. So he enrolled in Nebraska University and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. During World War II he worked for North American Aviation as a tool and dye maker, helping to build the B-25s.
After the war he formed his own manufacturing company, Central Molding and Manufacturing Company located at 1509 Central Kansas City, Missouri. In the late 1950s he invented the Over the Counter Grocery Cart and Counter which was patented and sold to United Steel and Wire Company and which ultimately sold millions. He retired and sold the company in 1977.
For 55 years he was a member of Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri where he served many years as deacon and elder. While in Sabetha he attended the Congregational Church. He was a 51 year member of the Ararat Shrine and a 51 year active member of its Oriental Band. He was an over 50-year member of Ivanhoe Lodge No. 446 and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Kansas City, Missouri where he served as Commander in 1969. He was also a member of High Twelve and a member of the Kansas City Swiss Club.
In 2000, Russell and his wife, Eula, sold their home in Kansas City, Missouri and moved to an apartment in the Apostolic Christian Retirement Village. For the last 20 years they have spent their winters in Surprise, Arizona where they owned and maintained a winter home.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the Apostolic Christian West Village. A visitation will be held from 9:30 to the time of the service at the Village. The interment will be made in the St. Joseph Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Joseph, Missouri at 1:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriner’s Hospitals or to the Sabetha Community Hospital sent in care of the Popkess Mortuary in Sabetha, Kansas.