CHOTEAU — Glen Swanson, a Choteau man who made the whole town his friend, is being honored after his passing with a day of his own. After being hospitalized with an extended illness, Glen passed on April 14th. On Friday, the Choteau community came out in Bulldog maroon and gold to honor Glen at a memorial service.
Swanson was loved by all in Choteau, and was known for his cheerful "Hello, my friend!' greeting to anyone he came across. Now with his passing the mayor of his beloved town has proclaimed April 23rd as "Glen Swanson Day."
“When you have a family member with developmental disabilities that lives in a different town than you do, sometimes you worry about how they’ll be received. Glen was just so loved and so embraced by the community and we’re just incredibly honored that the mayor proclaimed today 'Glen Swanson Day,'” explained Glen's sister Melanie Schwarzbach.
Glen was a huge sports fan and never missed a Bulldogs game. He made sure to cheer the loudest every time. He couldn’t walk down the street without stopping to visit with anyone he saw. To the community, Glen was the unofficial one-man "welcome wagon" of Choteau.
“He was a good representation of the 'be kind' movement. He had the embodiment of what a small community can be,” said Krysti Leach and Prairie Krause, high school classmates of Glen.
"The number of people that Glen touched is countless and for us to give back for one day is not enough but it’s a symbol to how much he meant to this community. Everybody it didn’t matter denomination, political, sport orientation Glen would bring out that common ground and make sure that you were a friend and you would go find another friend on behalf of Glen,” said Choteau mayor Chris Hindoien.
Glen was laid to rest next to his father at the Big Sandy Cemetery and is survived by his mother Marilyn Swanson, three nephews, and sister Melanie, who said in closing at the ceremony, “And so until we meet again, goodbye my friend.”
To honor Glen and his family as they lay him to rest, all flags in Choteau have been lowered to half staff.