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Oscar Gunnar Swanson (1902-1958)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Thursday, January 30, 1958

Real Good Guy Died Thursday, 1958

    After many years of illness, Oscar Gunnar Swanson died January 23 from coronary thrombosis, just ten days after his 56th birthday. He was born January 13, 1902 in Ostersund, Sweden.

    As a young man, he left Sweden to work on a whaling ship bound for South America. After arriving in South America, he signed on for three years at a whaling station. About 1930 Oscar drifted to Canada, working as a pulp-worker in eastern Canada. He spent a number of years in various parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario before coming west.

    In 1943 he came to Whitehorse. For about four years he was in the wood business but the cold winter of 1946-47 decided him against that kind of work. Oscar often mentioned that awful cold spell. From then, he worked in bars around town, starting at the Regina. He opened Tourists' Services as a tavern, then put in about four months at the White Pass before working at the Whitehorse Inn. In 1952 he became ill and was in and out of hospital from that time until his death. Oscar died a bachelor. Friends said of him, "he was a real good guy. He treated people the way he wanted to be treated himself."

    Rev. J. Brown-Milne conducted funeral services for the late Mr. Swanson on Wednesday afternoon, January 29, at the First Presbyterian Church. Pall bearers were Stan O'Neil, Fred Patterson, Doug McLean, George Roberts, Les Foster and Les Isles.