Harold “Swede” John Swenson
October 7, 1919 - August 14, 2017
Swede Swenson was born on October 7, 1919 on the family farm near Cherokee, Iowa to William and Emma Brietbarth Swenson. In 1929 the family moved to a farm near Iona, MN. Swede attended country school and at the age of 17 he left home to work for area farms. In 1934 he returned to the family farm. On October 16, 1940 he and Cathryn Onken were married at St. Columba Church in Iona, MN. Following their marriage they lived with Cathryn’s father, Ben Onken for one year before moving to Slayton. Swede worked for Clem Hatting in Luverne for 3 years. In 1946 Swede started working for Rupp Construction Company as an equipment operator and later as Superintendent and Vice President he retired in 1997. Swede said, “I worked there longer then some people live.” Cathryn passed away on April 28, 2011. Swede remained in their home until July 2013 when he moved to Lindenwood Assisted Living in Slayton. Due to failing health in July 2017 Swede moved to the Slayton Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Slayton where he passed away on Monday, August 14, 2017 at the age of 97. He was a member of St. Ann’s Church where he served on the church council. He also was a member of the Slayton Driftbreaker Snowmobile Club. Swede enjoyed spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, gardening, snowmobile, golfing, bowling and family camping trips.
Survivors include his seven children and their spouses, Dick and Barb Swenson of St. Ignatius, MT, Harold A. and Deanne Swenson of Jackson, MN, Kay Kreun of Mesa, AZ, Bob Swenson and Lisa Grimmius of Slayton, MN, Dan Swenson and Chhaya Foncanno of Georgetown, TX, Tom Swenson of Lakeside, CA, and Peggy and Keith Landhuis of Rochester, MN, 13 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren, and one sister, Helen Gleason and her husband, Lyndal of Anoka, MN. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Cathryn, an infant son, three daughters-in-law, Viola Swenson, Pat Swenson and Marsha Swenson, one son-in-law, Don Kreun, two brothers and their spouses, Wilfred and Marion and Orval and Nellie Swenson, and one sister, Lucille Rogers and her husband, Clifford Rogers.
Funeral Services will be held at St. Ann’s Church in Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. with Fr. Thin Nguyen officiating. The organist is Sharon Lais. The song leader is Sheila Crowley with special music by Patty Meacham. The pallbearers are his grandchildren. Interment is at St. Ann’s Cemetery in Slayton, MN.
Visitation will be on Friday, August 18, 2017 at St. Ann’s Church in Slayton from 4-7 p.m. with a rosary at 4:30 p.m. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday. Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton is entrusted with arrangements. To send condolences visit totzkefuneralhome.com