Dr. John Ray Swanda, Jr. PhD

Born: Sun., Jul. 5, 1936
Died: Sun., May 13, 2012

Memorial Service

2:30 PM Sun., Jun. 24, 2012
Location: Christ the King Lutheran

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 Dr. John Raymond Swanda Jr. PhD


July 5th, 1936 – May 13th, 2012


Long time South Bend resident and educator Dr. John Raymond Swanda Jr. died of natural causes on Mother’s Day. Born in Schuyler Nebraska to John Raymond Sr. and Margaret Swanda (nee Weber), John played collegiate football and studied Business management at Midland College and the University of Nebraska, where he received his Master’s in Finance in 1960. He continued his studies in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of Illinois, where he was introduced to his lovely wife of 44 years Gwendolyn Swanda (nee Thelin).

After receiving his doctorate in 1968, John and his wife moved to South Bend where he was given a professorship in the Business and Economics Department at Indiana University South Bend. As he rose through the ranks at IUSB to become Director of their MBA program in 1978, John and his wife raised their three children and became very active in the community of their adopted hometown of South Bend. He was a founding member of Christ the King Lutheran Church, involved in numerous charitable organizations and a fixture on the soccer fields, football gridirons, basketball courts and in the audiences of his children’s many sporting events and performances. To John, family always came first.

As an academic, he set standards of expertise in the fields of Organizational Conflict, Business Ethics and Human Capital Theory. He became well-known for writing five books and numerous professional journal publications, as well as mentoring and shaping the minds of thousands of students over his 32-year career. The culmination of which was becoming Dean of the department in 1995. In his five years as Dean of Business and Economics, he raised the standards of the department and helped it gain national recognition. Although he retired from IUSB in 2000, he continued to mentor and teach young entrepreneurs by volunteering at the SCORE, "Counselors to America's Small Business" program for the rest of his life.

Even though he was a practical man, he enjoyed a good laugh, lived for the time he spent as an amazing father and grandfather, and was seldom prone to anger unless it involved a bad call by a referee against his beloved Chicago Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Nebraska Cornhuskers or Indiana Hoosiers. He was a fine Angler, and had the fish on his wall to prove it. He was equally comfortable being the life of the party or the guy that would just listen to what you had to say. He gave generously of his time and money not only to his friends, family and colleagues, but to the community also. It was all these people that helped him cope with the tragic death of his youngest son, Brett Alan Swanda in 2005, and the death of his wife, Gwen only nine months ago in September. Those that knew him well knew what a caring and sensitive man he was, and how his presence in our lives made us better people. He will be fondly remembered but sorely missed by the South Bend community he loved so much.

He is survived by his very grateful son Gus Swanda and his wife Rosa Swanda, daughter Koren Scott, grandchildren Tucker and Zoe Scott, Sister Sharon Sherman and her husband, Norman Sherman. They will be holding a celebration of the lives of both John and Gwen Swanda at Christ the King Lutheran Church 2:30pm on June 24th, which is also their 45th wedding anniversary. All are invited to attend.

Condolences may be sent to 16313 Cypress Ct. Granger, IN 46530. Any donations may be given to the John R. Swanda Scholarship Fund at IUSB, the Brett A. Swanda Scholarship Fund at Indiana University, Bloomington’s School of Optometry and to Christ the King Lutheran Church: 17195 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635.

Charitable donations may be made in Dr. John 's memory to the following organizations:

Brett A. Swanda Scholarship Fund at
Indiana University, Bloomington’s School of Optometry

Christ the King Lutheran Church,
17195 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN, 46635

John R. Swanda Scholarship Fund at IUSB

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Sharon Swanda Sherman
   Posted Wed June 06, 2012
My brother John was my hero. We grew up in a loving family and were allowed to be the best we could be. I thank my brother for all his love, support and friendship throughout the years. I couldn't have asked for a better brother.

Roma Roul
   Posted Thu August 02, 2012
I was so surprised of John' passing and please accept my condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I remember John growing up. He was a wonderful guy and so was your parents. I can remember going to your place as a child with your dad. They were wonderful people.
Take care Sharon,
Love, Roma Roul
I was sick and in the hospital in May with knee surgery and a heart attack so I just heard about John's passing.