Mr. William Paul Swanson the husband of Mrs. Christine D. Platt of Gainesville, Florida suddenly passed away Saturday, October 12, 2019.
Will had a passion for adventure, mother earth and the outdoors, a respect for health and a great enjoyment of humor. These qualities were honed from an early age through the love of his family.
As a young man, Will served in the Marine Corps. He then moved west, as all good adventurers do, to the Rocky Mountains to work construction, ski and hang glide. He met Chris in Montana, they fell in love, married, and had a baby named Alex. Still sking and hang gliding, Will attended Montana State University to study engineering. Will and Chris decided to move to New Mexico State University on an exchange program to warm up, eat hot chilis and finish Will's Engineering BS in structural engineering. Will then worked in the aerospace industry for 20 years, first in Seattle for Boeing, then San Diego for General Dynamics and finally at the Florida Cape for Lockheed Martin. After so many years of designing and launching rockets, he told his wife it was not very fulfilling to watch his work end up at the bottom of the ocean. Their son Alex was grown and attending UF, so Will took a break from work and traveled with Chris in their VW Van across the US visiting family, friends and every National Park they could. After a year and a half of adventures, Will and Chris were ready to settle and moved to Gainesville Florida so Will could attend the University of Florida. He received a Masters in structural engineering. Will then worked as a contract educator at the Program for Resource Efficient Communities at UF IFAS. He taught a continuing education class on Wind Load Calculations to architects and engineers.
A MacGyver of gadgetry, he was always fixing, building, changing, trying and improving. He was in love with music and played guitar all his life and was teaching himself keyboard and saxophone. Will loved mathematics and science so took classes in physics at UF. He commuted to campus on his electric bicycle. Will had recently become interested in drones and they were in various forms and sizes with outlets full of batteries always charging. Will also loved to putter around the yard, weeding, mowing and trimming. He had a bird feeder for his beloved neighborhood feathered friends. He planted milkweed for the Monarch Butterflies. He loved all things of our earth.
Will did not ski as much but that's Florida. Hard to find a good mountain of snow. But Will did continue hanging gliding. He did not survive a crash on landing on Oct 12, 2019. He died suddenly but doing what he loved. His hang gliding compatriots said he was smiling, happy and excited on launch.
Will is survived by his mother, a brother, two sisters, a half sister, an aunt and an uncle, a niece and a nephew, two cousins, his son Alex and Chris, his wife of 43 years.
If you see a bird soar by, it is his spirit. He will be missed.
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