In Remembrance of John Swanson, 1961-2014

January 21, 2014

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I am profoundly saddened to hear of the passing of my long time friend. I remember John from the first days of Fenestration magazine, when he was the heart and soul of that magazine. When he left, we went with him with our advertising support, knowing full well that no one could follow in his footsteps.

More than a journalist, John was the heart and soul of our industry. He was the consummate documentarian... asking questions, probing the answers, always looking and definitely always listening. I often commented to him that he had a gift rare among journalists: the ability to listen without agenda, and accurately communicate what he saw and heard.

They say you die twice, once when you stop breathing, and again when someone says your name for the last time. I like this philosophy, for it means that John will still be with us for many, many, many years.

God bless you, Lee, Ellen, Harry, Anne, Joy and Gail. We all loved and admired John, something rarely seen and even more rarely acknowledged in business today. You can all be as proud of John's professional respect, which runs as deep as your personal loss.

We are sadden by the news of John's passing. Being a newcomer to the fenestration industry with a new product is hard enough. We felt fortunate John spotted us a couple of years ago when we introduced EnsoGlass and his kind, supportive words of encouragement. Although only having met John a couple of times, we felt his passion for the industry and those trying to introduce new things. We still light up every time we walk by our Crystal Achievement Award that was only made possible by the difference John made to us.

With Respect and Admiration,
Jesse Villarreal, Jr. Bella Fleur Corporation

My condolences to the Swanson Family. John gave companies like Window - Fix a voice and connected us to the industry on a national scale. He will be missed.

I had the privilege of knowing John for 20+ years. I, as well as the industry, will miss his insight.

I am truly saddened by the loss of John. He always carried himself in a professional manner and he single handedly shaped the image of our industry.
He was always very supportive of VEKA and myself to help contribute to our growth by sharing with the industry the news of the day.
On behalf of the entire VEKA family, we offer our sincere condolences to John's family, peers and friends. May peace be with all of you.

With Respect

Steve Dillon
VEKA inc.

We will miss you John. Condolences to your immediate family, and to your Fenestration family in general. You will be greatly missed, but what your legacy in the window and door industry will live on and you will always be remembered.

Sherif ElDibani
OpenJanela Software.

John was a great and kind person. He will be missed by me and I am sure everyone else that had the good fortune to know him.

I first met John when Fenestration World was the  show for our industry in 198?.  He was a big part of making sure the show was a success.  Fenestration Magazine was his baby, and he nursed it into the top trade magazine in our industry.  He was always a pleasure to talk to, and was always so humble even though he probably knew more than anyone about the inner workings and layers of our extremely complex industry.  His integrity was unmatched and if you told him something “confidentially,”  it stayed that way.  John will be missed by all of us that grew to like, trust  and depend on him.

 Chuck Gilderman

Having known John for over 25 years, I can honestly say that he not only has been a wonderful business associate of mine, but even more so, someone I truly count on as one of my better friends in this industry. John's knowledge of the industry, and relationships he has built was something that all of us truly admired & aspired to.  John's insightful way of sharing a story with his audience was done in a manner that showed not only his professionalism, but also his passion for this industry.  To me, John's legacy will be that of quiet, caring, and professional leader who, through his gifts, helped keep an industry informed and engaged.

Matt Kottke, Truth Hardware

Twelve years ago, as a relative youngster in the fenestration industry, John was one of the key people who influenced my growth in the industry.  At the time, I was the new marketing coordinator with a changing and growing distribution & manufacturing hardware company.   John took the time to help me understand the best ways to promote and brand the company through the NGA and Window & Door magazine, and became a trusted confidant, mentor and friend.  In 2008, when the industry was feeling the worst of the economic pain, and my position was eliminated, John encouraged me to stay in the industry and was a source of great encouragement as I figured out where my path would lead.  I got emails from John letting me know of openings in the industry and he always kept in touch, even when he knew that I wasn’t contributing to his bottom line.  When I decided to start my Mfrs. Rep. agency, John was among the first calls I made to get his advice.   John’s encouragement, mentoring, openness, kindness, inquisitiveness, patience and gentle nature make his early departure especially sad for this industry friend, and so many others for whom he provided the same kindnesses and courtesies.  I thank him for his support and belief in me, and share in the grief his family and friends must now bear. 

With highest regard for a truly honorable man,
Amber Grayson, Grayson Group Sales & Marketing LLC



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