The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker


January 15, 2013

Edward Edison Swanson

—  Edward Edison Swanson aka Papa Pogo age 87 died peacefully at home on Sunday Jan. 13, 2013, surrounded by his family.

  A Celebration of Life service will be held at Faith Lutheran in Madelia, Minnesota, on Saturday, Jan. 19th, 2013, at 11:00 am.  A luncheon will be held after the service.

  Ed was born August 18th, 1925, at Old Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. He graduated from Roosevelt High School, Minneapolis in 1944.  He served with Company A 303rd Infantry Regiment, 97th Division in Europe and with occupational troops in Japan.  Upon return he entered Gustavus Adolophus College and graduated with a BA degree in Sociology and Social Work in 1949.  He married his college sweetheart Estelle Uleberg on June 10, 1950.  He farmed with Estelle's father Jens for 3 years.  After farming, Ed completed studies and graduated from Augsburg Theological Seminary and was ordained a Lutheran pastor.  He was a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force in Amarillo, Texas and Anchorage, Alaska.  Ed was a parish pastor in different communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Texas for 20 years.  Ed and Estelle started a Clown and Puppet Ministry in 1978 and became known as Papa and Mama Pogo.  In 1986 Ed and Estelle became missionary-houseparents at the Lutheran Hostel in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea.  When they returned to the states they continued their puppet ministry under the name Pogostiks.  Ed authored four books: Reflections On A Country Road, Papa Pogo's Angels In Disguise-Puppet Ministry In The Church, POGOLAND -Mystery at Little Mountain and POGO SEEDS- A Parade of Surprising! Amazing! Astonishing! Astounding! Clown and Puppet Adventures.

   Ed is survived by his wife, Estelle,  Mary and June Streets of Kempton, Maryland, Julia Uleberg of Northfield,  Sarah Swanson of LaGrande, Oregon and Ruth and Dennis Young of LaGrande, Oregon.   Grandchildren: John and Benjamin Makepeace, Adam and Joe Young. Great-Grandchildren: Leah and Ohana Makepeace and Maisie and Clyde Young.  Ed was an adoptive parent and grandparent to many.

 Memorials preferred to Madelia Community Hospital, New Ulm Hospice or Faith Lutheran Church in Madelia, Minnesota.


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