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Joel L. Swanson, 37

Beloved father, son and brother, Joel Lawrence Swanson passed away much too soon on April 29, surrounded by family. He was 37. When Joel was in a hospital bed, a photo of the girl at the center of his world -- Joel's 8-month-old daughter -- had been placed over his heart.

Joel was born and raised in Hastings, spending lots of time outside and exploring with his brothers and sister. They biked everywhere, and went swimming and fishing at Lake Rebecca. At Hastings High School, Joel's soccer teammates dubbed him "Dinger".

Joel attended St. Cloud State University, but spent most of his life in Hastings. He worked for years at RJ's Tavern.

In Joel's family, he was the daredevil and spitfire. He was a great giver of hugs. His mother taught him how to be an excellent cook, and his father made him into a master griller. Joel always had an artistic side: he played the guitar, and was a talented painter and photographer, especially of nature. He loved riding his motorcycle, fishing and hunting.

Joel's final act of kindness was to give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.

Preceded in death by grandparents, James Rondeau and Ruth and Harry Swanson; and uncle, Lawrence Swanson.

Joel is survived by the most important girls in his life -- Laura Youle and their daughter, AmyLynn. He is also survived by his parents, Duane and Nancy Swanson; siblings, Jamie (Aimee), Joshua (Mara), and Jennifer (Imtiaz) Mondal; grandmother, Charlotte Rondeau; nieces, Samantha, Sydney, and Sophia; and nephews, Silas and Harrison.

Mass of Christian burial 2 p.m. on Monday, May 4, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2035 W. 15th St., Hastings. Visitation 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, at Wise Family Funeral Home, 400 Spring St., Hastings, and one hour prior to Mass on Monday. Interment, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Cemetery.

Joel's pallbearers will be his first cousins: Nick Rondeau, Shelley Roush, Jake Rondeau, Audrey Anderson, Teressa Schlieman, Dana Rondeau, Cody Rondeau, Curt Swanson, Alec Swanson, Angie Johnson, Jodi Kringle and Nate Kringle.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred for a trust fund for Joel's daughter. They can be written as "UTMA custodian for AmyLynn Swanson" and directed to the family.

The Wise Family Funeral Home is serving the family.

Visit wisefamilyfh.com to sign the online tribute page and view the memorial video.

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