Welcome to the memorial page for

Kenneth Leland Swanson

January 11, 1933 ~ May 15, 2019 (age 86)

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Funeral Service
May 18, 2019

10:30 AM
Ashland United Methodist Church
310 North Main Street
Ashland, KS 67831

Interment following funeral service
May 18, 2019

Highland Cemetery
2018 East US Hwy 160
Ashland, KS 67831

Kenneth Leland Swanson passed away on May 15, 2019 at the age of 86 years, 4 months and 4 days. He was born in Ashland, Kansas, at the farm home of his parents Walter Alexander Swanson and Mary Golden Beard Swanson. He had three older brothers, one an infant who passed away 1-2 days after birth, Harold, and Robert Swanson. He attend grade school and high school in Ashland.


He met Melba L. Edmonston on a blind date. He always said he knew after the first date he was going to marry her, but he waited until their third date to ask. They eloped and were married on April 8,1954 in New Mexico. They began traveling right away courtesy of the United States Army. Their first child was born in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. Their three girls were all born in the Ashland District Hospital.


Kenneth was a teacher in the Ashland school system his entire career. He said he asked Prof Humphreys why he hired him as a teacher. Prof’s response was, he knew “Ken had pulled every trick in the book so the students would not be able to pull pranks on him.” In addition to  various second jobs, he volunteered in the community. He assisted Jim Arnold getting the local Boy Scout troop started and was active in that for many years. He was also involved with the local Methodist Church, Farm Bureau, and was the voice of the Ashland Bluejays at football games for many years.


He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Melba, his parents, Walter and Mary Swanson, two brothers (infant and Harold), their daughter in law, Patricia Swanson, and son in law, Brian Harris.


He is survived by his brother Dr. Robert Swanson (Ruby) Brookings, SD; his four children,

Monte Swanson, Topeka, Krista Smith (Eric) Topeka, Melanie Swanson, Wichita, and Kerry Harris, Topeka. Grandchildren, Eric “Brandon” Smith (Tara) Chanute, Elizabeth “Liz” Kinate (Nate), Kansas City, MO, and Lauren Harris, Topeka; and two great grandchildren, Hudson Kinate, Kansas City, MO, and Ryder Smith, Chanute.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Ashland United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 686, Ashland KS 67831

USD 220 Ashland Public Schools
311 JE Humphreys St., Ashland KS 67831

Santa Fe Trail Boy Scouts
402 E Fulton St. Suite #4, Garden City KS 67846

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