Anna Jean Swenson passed away on Jan. 14, 2023 at Seasons of Life Hospice Home in Arbor Vitae, WI near Rhinelander, WI where she had been living since 2011.
She was born in Colfax, Iowa on December 29, 1929 to Earl and Edith Woodcock. She attended grade school in Newton, Iowa where her father worked for the Maytag Corporation. Her childhood years were spent with her 4 siblings, Jean being the youngest. It was a country life with 19 acres, livestock, gardens and an orchard.
She attended a Baptist church and began her faith walk with Christ at the age of 12. Subsequent moves took the family from Iowa to North Minneapolis, Elk River and finally to Rush Lake where a hobby farm was purchased and Edith and Earl would live out their days. Jean attended multiple high schools, graduating from Braham High School in 1948 in a class of 53 students.
Upon graduating Jean went to work as a secretary for a firm in north Minneapolis. It was at Stanchfield Baptist Church in 1948 that she would meet and eventually marry Roland “Swede” Swenson. They were married on June 3, 1950 in Stanchfield, MN. They purchased a home in Stanchfield across from the elementary school for $2,000 and then built a new house on the lot next door in 1953. It was there that they would welcome 3 children into the world, Mark, Kim, and Rebecca. Over the next few years, Jean worked a variety of secretarial roles both at the Grasston Elementary School and Braham High School. She served faithfully at the church in Stanchfield serving with Swede as Jr. High youth directors and teaching Sunday school classes, singing in the choir and leading a youth choir of 30 that travelled and sang locally on various occasions.
In 1970, a new home was built on Rush Lake where the now teens would finish school and head off to college. Many wonderful memories would come with family gatherings at the lake.
Swede retired in 1982 from the Post Office and in 1987, Jean and Swede purchased a home in Bella Vista where they would vacation and golf. Jean was an avid golfer along with Swede and they spent many years playing with friends and family at the Grandy Nine and then Purple Hawk in Cambridge. In 1995, Jean retired from her job as Braham High School counselor’s secretary after 32 years. In July of 2000, Jean would walk through some of her hardest days with the loss of her partner Swede of over 50 years. The following years contained many adventures as Jean lived with family in California, Milwaukee, Brown Deer and Cambridge MN. On Mother’s day of 2017, a little four-legged companion named Finnigan was gifted to her and the two of them would become inseparable in her remaining years. Jean will be remembered for her zest for life, always making sure everyone was having fun, her family gathering together, her summer suntan, commitment to her faith and church, devotion to Swede and a wonderful “Gigi” to so many.
We are thankful for the gift of 93 years. She will be deeply missed.
Memorials Preferred: Stanchfield Baptist Church - 38850 Midway St NE, Stanchfield, MN 55080
Stanchfield Baptist Church
38850 Midway Street NE, Stanchfield MN 55080