Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Wayne E. Swanson passed away Dec. 23, 2006, at the Doak Walker Care Center in Steamboat Springs of Parkinson's disease and related complications. He was 72.
Born Aug. 3, 1934, in Batavia, Ill., to Marian and Arthur Swanson, Wayne grew up and attended high school in Batavia. After serving in the U.S. Army, he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1959 and returned to Batavia to join the family hardware business. Wayne and his brother, Denny Swanson, bought the Batavia hardware store from their parents in the 1960s and opened a second store in Aurora, Ill.
In 1983, Wayne moved to Steamboat Springs, where he and Denny expanded the family business with the opening of Steamboat True Value Hardware (now Ace at the Curve). With the addition of the Glenwood Springs True Value, the company grew to include four stores. Wayne treasured the camaraderie he shared with all of his co-workers throughout his business career.
Like many in Steamboat, Wayne was an avid outdoorsman. He particularly loved skiing, hiking, flyfishing and golfing, and he spent many days enjoying these activities with family and friends. He also looked forward to aprÃs skiing in The Triangle.
Wayne's passion for the outdoors translated into support of many organizations including The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and the Yampa Valley Flyfishers. An arts enthusiast as well, he enjoyed traveling to New York to attend plays, musicals and operas and offered his support to both local and national arts organizations. He was also a voracious reader with a strong interest in politics and history.
Wayne was a wonderful brother, uncle and friend whose quick wit, stand-up comic's sense of timing and ready smile enriched many lives.
An integral part of a close-knit family, Wayne is survived by his sister, Karyl Tych and her husband Michael Tych of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and niece, Mira Tych, of New York City; his brother, Denny Swanson and his wife Joy Swanson of Steamboat Springs; and nephews, Grant Swanson and his wife Maggie Red of Denver, and Marc Swanson of Boulder. Extended family members include Wayne's aunts, uncles and cousins of Batavia, Ill., Dallas and Phoenix.