Donald Earl Swearngain was born April 21, 1941 in Marion County Iowa. He passed from this earth December 14, 2020 in Westminster Colorado. Don attended Willow Grove School through the 8th grade then transferred to Knoxville High School where he graduated in 1959. During his High School years Don was active in FFA and students plays. While in High School Don began his long career with HyVee. In 1962 Don transferred to Newton #1 where he worked in the produce department. The following year Don became produce manager and in 1972 he was promoted to assistant manager. His next career move came in 1975 when he was promoted to manager at the new Pella HyVee. He remained there until 1981 when he was able to transfer back to Knoxville as a store manager. Don managed the Knoxville HyVee until his retirement in 1998. Among his many career accomplishments Don was honored to serve on the board of directors and to have his portrait hung in the Hy Vee Hall of Fame.
In 1964 Don married the love of his life and his wife of 56 years, Pat Harding. He quickly became a father to Pat’s daughter, Christi, and they enjoyed many adventures to include mushroom hunting, tree house building and various farming activities. As she grew up Don impressed her with his strong work ethic and his helpful advice on life.
Don loved to travel. He had an endless curiosity about the world. When Christi moved to Hawaii it gave him and Pat the opportunity to visit many times. They also enjoyed visiting California to see Jesse Bledsoe and his family. Don was excited to visit France, Italy, and make multiple trips to Ireland as he researched the genealogy of his wife’s ancestors. Pat and Don’s road trips through the US were epic and provided many great stories.
Don undertook his favorite roll when he and Pat moved to Broomfield, Co to be closer to Christi and her family. Thereafter, he was only known as “Grandpa” to Caleigh and Chloe. He devoted his time to planting pumpkins, baking cookies, raising turkeys, and sponsoring many trips to the zoo, ballet, dinner theatre, and Estes Park. He was always happy to help with school genealogy projects and loved to talk of the family from which they were descended. He also invested time in a Christmas light display to rival Denver International Airport. Don was always an Iowa boy, so he enjoyed introducing his granddaughters to the joys of Iowa life. He made sure they returned to Knoxville many times as children to pick berries, fish with family, and build bonfires.
Don is survived by his wife, Pat, his daughter Christi Brown (Ray), and his Granddaughters Caleigh and Chloe. He is also survived by stepson Jesse Bledsoe (Jenny) and their son Logan.
Don is also survived by his sister Connie Bailey (Keith) and many nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Bert and Vera Swearngain, and his sister Carol Vink.
Pat describes her husband as being productive, progressive, humble and a gentle giant. He gave her comfort, security, and the love of a lifetime.
Don’s favorite quote became his life’s expression “It is not what he has which directly expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.”