Leland M. Swanson, 82, of Hemet, died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003, in Hemet.
He was born the fourth of seven children to Rueben and Bernice Swanson on April 12, 1921, in Walla Walla, Wash.
He graduated from WaHi in 1939.
Mr. Swanson worked for the Walla Walla Union Bulletin as a paper carrier in his early teens, then on the phone in the office taking “kicks,” complaints, etc.
He moved to Seattle in 1940 and worked for Boeing until World War II when he joined the Army Air Force soon after Pearl Harbor. He was a bombardier navigator in the South Pacific.
Mr. Swanson left the regular Army soon after the war was over as a captain.
He married Barbara Hawk of Walla Walla in 1945. They had one daughter, Pamela Jean Swanson Sanchez, born in Walla Walla.
Mr. Swanson was in the reserves for years. He graduated from Whitman College, earning an Andrew Carnegie scholarship and going on for his master’s degree at the University of Colorado.
He was city manager of Pendleton and The Dalles, Ore., then city manager of Manhattan Beach, Calif., in the 1940s.
He attended the University of Southern California, studying and working as assistant director of the Pakistani Project.
He received his doctorate degree in public administration from USC in 1964, specializing in cybernetics.
Mr. Swanson was one of the assistant directors for the City of Los Angeles in charge of the “War on Poverty.” He had that position during the Watts riots.
The last 30 years, he lived in the Hemet and Idyllwild area, was married to Leann Swanson and was in the antique business.
Along with his wife, he is survived by one daughter, Pamela, and son-in-law Carlos Sanchez; three stepdaughters, Phyllis Kirchner and Robbin Decker, both of Idyllwild, and Heather Bowman; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hemet Hospice Inc., 890 W. Stetson, Hemet, CA 92543 or to Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, Division of Human Anatomy, Loma Linda, CA 92350.