Chuck Swanson Named 2014 Grand Marshal

Chuck Swanson is the 2014 Miss Flame Festival Grand Marshal. Chuck was born September 7th, 1956 to John and Betty Swanson. He has two older sisters, Becky Hovey and Nancy Stevens. He is married to Odetta and has two children, Curt Swanson and Jill Underwood, three stepchildren and eight grandchildren ages 17 to 5 months.  He retired from 3M in 2012 after 36 years and says he is not sorry at all for retiring at 55! He has lived in Albany for 54 of his almost 58 years. He attended Albany Grade School for grades 1st-8th (back in the day kindergarten had not yet started in Albany). Halfway through 5th grade, he moved in to the “new school”. A few years later, he participated in 8th grade commencement which was held in the old Garden Plain School. He then went to Fulton High School for the remaining 4 years of high school, graduating in 1974. He then went to Sauk Valley Jr College for 2 years, graduating with a degree in Auto Mechanics but then went to work at 3M. 

Since he was a kid, Chuck has enjoyed fishing, hunting and has spent a lot of time on the river with boats. He also reminisced how he has seen many changes regarding businesses in town. “As a child, I spent a lot of time playing with friends in everybody’s yards and riding my bike all over town. We never worried about strangers even though there were a lot of construction workers for the power lines out of town and while they built ComEd at “The Hole” as it was known to everyone back then. On Saturday at 8:00, Main Street was always packed with people waiting to see if their name was drawn at “The Drawing.”

Chuck served with the Albany Fire Protection District for 23 years, 20 years as a firefighter and 5 years as a trustee. He also served on the board for the Illinois Fire Convention for two years as well as having been involved in many other organizations over the years. He states that the only reason he left the fire district and Albany was that him and his wife decided to move to Fulton in order to take care of their 93 year old Aunt Ruth Bos. Chuck also states that he doesn’t miss Albany but that’s because he is still in town all the time!