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Zachary Scott Swanson

Zachary Scott Swanson

April 7, 1984 - February 10, 2024

At 39, our beloved Zack left us far too early. He was born in Niwot, Colorado, and spent his school days at Niwot public schools, graduating in 2002. He received an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins in 2012. He added many automotive technology certificates and achieved Master Mechanic status.

Zack had an amazing ability to stay level-headed, even-keeled, and calm throughout life. Always friendly and respectful, he took care to protect friends and family. He could share great conversations as well as vulnerable moments. He exuded compassionate warmth. He was the center of his families and a true and loyal friend.

The Irish poet Patrick Kavanaugh said to fully know even one field is a lifetime's experience. Zack fully knew cars. He loved them all, from his very first Mitsubishi Montero, aka the Red Raider, to his Toyota Tundra. He loved being with people who knew their way around cars.

His first purchase was a rusted-out Toyota SR5 which he drove around Fort Collins delivering pizza for many years. He rehabilitated cars no one else wanted. His last project car was a rare four-wheel-drive Toyota Corolla. He took great pride in getting Elmer, his dad's old Ford pick-up, roadworthy. He was the lead technician at Genuine Automotive in Fort Collins for many years. Zack is loved and dearly missed in the auto repair community where he was a dedicated mentor and teacher to mechanics just learning the trade.

Another passion was fishing. Early on, he cast a line from his Zebco plastic fishing pole into Brainard Lake, Left Hand Creek, irrigation ditches, anywhere there was water and maybe trout. Family camping trips to the Snowy Range in Wyoming brought bigger trout and more equipment. He perfected his fly-fishing technique on the Laramie and the Poudre Rivers with his dad. He loved tent camping, the more primitive, the better. He ventured to remote areas of Wyoming such as Meeteetse, Lost Cabin Campground, and Green River Lakes on yearly man-trips.

Zack's warmth extended to all animals, particularly cats. Even grumpy old cats were drawn to him. Levin and Tia Beans miss him terribly. Erin's dog Spock still watches at the window for him to come home.

Zack, Erin, Amber, and Brock made a safe, secure, happy space for each other in Wellington. They celebrated Christmas with festive dinners and décor. They gave Zack a block of cheese for his birthday because he didn't care for cake. They watched all the NFL games. Bronco game days were sacred. They all took great delight in being in a joyful, supportive family.

Zack is survived and loved by his parents Chris and Jan Swanson of Niwot, Colorado; his brother Will of Fort Collins and sister Kate (Ryan MacDougall), nephew Robert and niece Abbey, of Broomfield, Colorado. He also leaves behind his wife Erin Beckman, her sister Amber and her son Brock Schmitt of Wellington, Colorado. His surviving Swanson uncles, aunts, and cousins are: John Swanson (Judy) of Rancho Mirage, California, and cousins Matthew (Robbi) of Chestertown, Maryland, Courtney Eklund, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Gina (King) Farish, of Lisbon, Portugal; Mark Swanson (Donna), and cousins Geoff Swanson (Jess) and Sarah Swanson all of Lincoln, Nebraska; and Jim Swanson also of Lincoln.

His surviving Patterson uncles, aunts, and cousins are Jeff Patterson (Carol), and cousin Tom of Lincoln, Nebraska; Tim Patterson (Kristine), and cousins Stephanie Phillipson (Kristopher), Melissa (Steve Kenealy), Karly, all of Gretna, Nebraska; Kay Shields (Mark), and cousins Patrick, Dayne, all of Omaha, Nebraska, and Brad of St. Paul, Minnesota; Jill Sutton (Eric) of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and cousins Leah (Brandon) of Pueblo, Colorado, and Sam (Hannah) of Castro Valley, California.

Zack is preceded in death by his grandparents: Vince and Mary Swanson of Fremont, Nebraska, and Ralph and Jessie Patterson of Bella Vista, Arkansas.

We will celebrate Zack's life twice: once at Westview Church, 6710 Arapaho, in Boulder, on April 6, 2-5 p.m .; and at 13119 North County Road 9, Wellington, 80549, on April 7, his fortieth birthday, from 1-4. Come to both or one. Both are informal. Share memories, stories, and love for our Zack. He is dearly missed. Your love and support are enough to fill our hearts. If you wish to make a donation, we have created an Automotive Technology scholarship at Front Range Community College.


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