Kenneth Donald “Swede” Swenson, 68 of Mount Olive, died Thursday, October 1, 2020, at 6:49 a.m. at his residence in Mt. Olive. He was born on February 16, 1952, in Beech Grove, IN to the late Donald Vernon Swenson and Irene Janet Anderson Swenson.
He married Teresa Kay Rosenthal Swenson on June 27, 1997, in Mt. Olive. Kenneth attended Grant Elementary in Fairview Heights and graduated from Belleville East with the Class of 1970 where he quarterbacked the undefeated football team. After high school, he accepted scholarships in baseball and basketball to Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana.
While at Louisiana College, he taught and coached for 11 years and won State Championships in baseball and swimming. He received his bachelor’s in history in 1974. Following school, he had a tryout with the Cincinnati Reds. He came to Mt. Olive in 1986 and coached football, basketball, track and softball. He retired in 2008 for health reasons but was still able to sub as a teacher.
Kenneth was a Mt. Olive District #5 School Board Member and loved sports as a coach and as a participant and always remained an avid fan, especially baseball and football. He liked listening to talk radio ESPN, was an animal lover, enjoyed road trips in his truck, enjoyed reading, was a fan of John Wayne, and loved high school sports.
He leaves behind his wife, Teresa Kay Swenson, Mt. Olive; son, Ethan Tyler Swenson of Mt. Olive; stepson, David Schwab of Hamel; two stepdaughters, Laura (Doug) Mefford of Carlinville and Stephanie (Galen) Schwab Parnell of Mt. Olive; sister, Cecilie “Cooky” (K.E.) Newell of Flat Rock, IL; six grandchildren, Lucas, Elsa, Jacob, Maxwel, Chance and Shelbie; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one stepson, Matt Schwab.
Visitation services will be held on Friday, October 9, 2020, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Mt. Olive High School football field. Please wear a mask and use social distancing. Becker & Son Funeral Home, Mt. Olive are in charge of arrangements.