Carl A. Swanson


Carl A. Swanson, 60, of Baileys Harbor, passed away at his home Friday, February 7, 2020 surrounded by loved ones. Carl was diagnosed with a glioblastoma last fall.

     He was born November 4, 1959 in Aurora, IL to Kermit and Jean (White) Swanson. Carl grew up in Naperville, IL. He attended Beloit College and North Central College, where he earned his BA in Philosophy and English.

     In the early 1980s, he and his college sweetheart, Ann Claire Hamilton moved to Massachusetts, where Carl worked as a security guard and played in various music groups. He was self-taught in guitar and particularly enjoyed playing slide guitar and the blues. His love and knowledge of music stayed with him and grew throughout his life. Carl and Ann were married on August 29, 1985.

     In 1990, he and Ann moved to Door County to work and raise their family. Ann was diagnosed with leukemia and preceded him in death on August 11, 1995. Carl raised his two daughters, Rachael and Sarah, while running his custom woodworking/furniture business. He was innovative and creative, dedicated to finding his own unique approaches to design and problem-solving. His journey toward health following a 2008 liver transplant is a testament to his strength, courage, and perseverance.

     Carl enjoyed spending time in the woods, especially snow shoeing and observing the natural changes each season brought. He was an avid reader of history, specifically Civil War and Viking history.

     Carl will be missed by his two daughters, Rachael Swanson of Baileys Harbor and Sarah Bergwin of Sister Bay; son in law, Michael Bergwin; grandchildren, Leif, Owen, and Zetta; fiancé, Sara Foster of Niagara, WI; and his sister, Jude Teicher of Sister Bay.

     He was preceded in death by his parents, Kermit and Jean Swanson; wife, Ann; and brother, John Swanson.

     A gathering for family and friends will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at (the future location of Casperson Funeral Home) 2594 S. Bay Shore Drive, Sister Bay, WI 54234 with a service of remembrance to follow at 4:00 p.m.

     Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Carl may be shared with his family through his tribute page at


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