Swen Ewald Gustafson Jr., 92, passed away on Dec. 30, 2020, in Middletown, Conn.
A loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was married to Barbara (nee Johnson) Gustafson for 68 years. Swen, a longtime resident of Swanzey, leaves behind three children: Steven and his wife, Cindy, of Swanzey; Deborah of Needham, Mass.; and Thomas and his wife, Lori, of Glastonbury, Conn. He leaves four grandchildren: Megan (Nathan Ramlochan), Cara, Nicholas and Benjamin; one great-granddaughter, Talia Ramlochan; and many nieces and nephews.
Swen was born Feb. 5, 1928, in Montclair, N.J. He was the son of Swen E. and Anna (nee Josephson) Gustafson. He leaves a brother, Evert, and his wife, Ann, of Granby, Conn. He was predeceased by his sisters: Elsie Lindstrom and Ruth Bieber.
Swen graduated from Upsala College in East Orange, N.J., with a degree in physics and received his masters from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. He spent two years in the U.S. Army and gained the title of Corporal. He continued his education during many summers at colleges across the country, which enabled Swen and his family to camp throughout the United States.
Swen taught physics at Dover High School in Dover, N.J., for more than 25 years. His students loved him and nicknamed him “Joe Physics.” For many summers throughout his teaching career, he worked at Pilgrim Pines Conference Center in Swanzey as the maintenance director.
In 1989, Swen and Barbara retired to Swanzey Lake, a place he called paradise. He enjoyed planting and trimming trees on his Christmas tree farm, driving his John Deere tractor, cutting and splitting wood for the woodstove, making his own maple syrup and raking his lakeside swimming area for the comfort of all. He will be best known for his sense of humor and his “super” smile.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be planned in the summer of 2021. Donations in his memory can be sent to Pilgrim Pines Conference Center, Swanzey; the Benevolent Care Fund of Covenant Living of Cromwell, Conn.; or Monadnock Covenant Church, Keene.
Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home, New Britain, Conn., is in charge of arrangements. Please share a memory of Swen with the family in the online guest book at www.ericksonhansen.com.