WILSALL William Nels Swandal II, 25, of Wilsall, died of diabetic ketoacidosis at his residence in Pocatello, Idaho, early Friday morning, Oct. 7, 2005.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Livingston Christian Center, 1400 Mount Baldy Drive, Livingston, with the Rev. Mary Rowe as celebrant. Family and friends are invited to remain at the Livingston Christian Center immediately following the service for a time of refreshment and remembrance of Nels' life. Arrangements are under the direction of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home, Livingston.
Nels was born at Fort Ord Military Base in Monterey, Calif., on Aug. 2, 1980, to Nels and Debra (Ferguson) Swandal. The Swandals soon moved to Livingston, where Nels lived and attended local schools until he was 13 years old. The family then relocated to The Swandal Ranch in Wilsall, where Nels completed junior high school and graduated from Shields Valley High School in 1999.
Nels attended Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in Klamath Falls, Ore. After experimenting with many different major subjects, he graduated in June 2005 with a double bachelor of science degree in Communication Studies and Psychology with a minor in Military Science. In addition to his broad academic interests, Nels enjoyed playing Rugby for OIT.
Nels was working toward a Masters Degree in Organizational Communication at Idaho State University in Pocatello at the time of his death. His goal was to complete his master's degree, get a "great job," and then buy the family ranch, where he intended to live and raise his family.
Nels embraced life with an extraordinary passion, energy and fervor. The curiosity and experimentation that sometimes caused consternation to his parents during his youth, allowed him to pack more "life" into his 25 years than many of us experience in 90 years. He was optimistic, kind, loving, generous and good. As he sailed through life, he left devoted friends and a loving family in his wake. Nels had an exceptional gift for empathy. He, like his mother, was adept at comforting others. And, like his father, he exuded a calming strength of purpose. He would be the first to try to lessen our grief. In his absence, we will be comforted by having known him, however briefly.
Nels is survived by his Grandma Bonnie Swandal of Wilsall; Grammy Judy Heaney of Coos Bay, Ore.; Grandfather Bill Ferguson of Medford, Ore.; parents Nels and Debra Swandal of Wilsall; his sister Rebecca Swandal and brother Austin Swandal, both of Wilsall; special friend Megan Michaels; godmother Gail Mock and godfather Gary McAllister. Also surviving are numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his Grandpa Austin Swandal, godfather Burt Annin and many special friends.
Memorials in honor of Nels will be welcomed by The American Diabetes Association Youth Retreat, 3203 Third Ave. N., Suite 203, Billings, MT 59101 and The Juvenile Diabetes Research 1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 605, Seattle, WA 98101.