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John O. Swanstrom

February 24, 1937 May 14, 2020
John O. Swanstrom
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Obituary for John O. Swanstrom

John Swanstrom passed away peacefully at his home in Aurora, IL the evening of May 14th, 2020 at the age of 83. He was a lifelong Chicago area resident who was brought up in Oak Park and then raised a family in Naperville, IL.

It was while in Oak Park that John developed his love of sports and music. His mother, Margaret Beisswanger Swanstrom, passed on her musical talents to John. While in school, he sang in musical groups, played baseball and basketball, ran cross-country and worked as a stock clerk at the corner grocery store. In 1955 he graduated from Oak Park High School. He went on to study commerce at North Central College where he met his wife, Roslyn Riha, and graduated in 1959. They were married for 62 years. While raising their family John continued his interest in the grocery business, working as a purchasing agent for local food companies. After commuting by train and highway for his first job with Red and White Foods, John secured a job as the purchasing agent for Amurol Products, which was located very close to his home. He served as a youth baseball coach at various levels. He was especially proud of coaching the 1971 Naperville nine-year-old city championship team, of which his son was a member. Likewise, he pursued musical interests. He was a charter member of the DuPage Valley Barbershop Chorus. He also sang in the Naperville Men’s Glee Club and choirs at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. His passion for sports, music and math are carried on in his children and grandchildren.

John was a dedicated husband to Roslyn and a loving and kind father to Susan Szymanski of Naperville, Ron Swanstrom (Mary) of Naperville, and Janet O’Driscoll (Pat) of Cork, Ireland. His grandchildren Laura (Kevin), Matt (Ashley), David, Trevor, Mia, Ciarán, Emma and Grace were supported in all of their endeavors by Grandpa. The recent addition of two great-granddaughters always brought a smile to his face when he was with them. Along with his sister, Marjorie Prussing and his sister-in-law, Joanne Ireland, he leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews across the country.

A private interment will take place. Details will follow for a memorial service to be held at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church when it is safe to gather again.

Arrangements by Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville, IL.

In lieu of flowers, donations in John's memory may be made to:

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL 60540, (630) 355-2522,


Special Olympics Illinois, 605 E. Willow Street, Normal, IL 617611, (800) 380-3071,

For more information, please call (630) 355-0213 or visit

To plant a tree in memory of John O. Swanstrom, visit the Tribute Store.

Memorial Contribution

Special Olympics Illinois

605 E. Willow Street
Normal, IL 617611

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

815 South Washington St
Naperville, IL 60540

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