Curtis Leroy Swenson

Curtis Leroy Swenson

  • Funeral Date: 6/12/15
  • Funeral Time: 11:00 a.m.
  • Date of Birth: 8/19/28
  • Date of Death: 6/08/15
  • Funeral Location: St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Northfield

Curtis Leroy Swenson of Northfield MN passed away on Monday evening June 8th, 2015. Curtis was born August 19th, 1928, to Emma and Swen Swenson and grew up in Walnut Grove. He played football and basketball and liked to tell stories of playing as a boy on the banks of Plum Creek like Laura Ingalls Wilder. He was the only son and the baby of the family with 4 sisters, Faye, Delores, Eunice, and Audrey, to keep him in line. After graduation from high school, Curtis and a friend decided to enlist in the service and see the world. He joined the Navy and served in the Korean Conflict. Curtis met Marilyn Leifermann at a wedding and the next day he went to a park where Marilyn was at the church Sunday school picnic. She was playing kick the can and kept kicking the can toward Curtis. They courted and loved to dance together at the Lake Marion Ballroom. When Curtis was 23, they decided to get married at Faith Lilac Way Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale, MN on October 21, 1951. They then moved to Florida where he was stationed. He served as a cook on a ship and in order to earn a 3-day pass to be home for the holiday, he cooked 27 turkeys for Thanksgiving on the ship. While living in Florida they welcomed Candace into the family. Shortly after Candy was born, Curt left the service and they made their move back to Minnesota to be closer to family. They became pregnant two more times and lost daughters Cindy and Robin shortly after birth.

They bought a home in Brooklyn Center and Curtis took a job with Pako Photofinishing in Minneapolis. Curtis took on other side jobs as photographer and even a cab driver to earn money to support their growing family. Scott, Tina, Craig, Julie, Terri, Dean and Dale were all born and lived in that tiny house in Brooklyn Center. Curtis and Marilyn then bought a bigger home in Plymouth where they welcomed Robby who at 9 months old passed away from Spinal Meningitis. They were heartbroken at the loss but soon after found out they were pregnant and, later that year, Steven was born. They had wanted a big family and their dreams had come true. Wanting them to grow up in a small town, Curtis heard of a new Photofinishing Division 3M was to be starting up in Northfield. He applied and was offered a position as a manager and the search began in Northfield for a house. They purchased a Wausau home, and to save money, Curtis did a lot of the finishing work to prepare the home prior to the family making their move. Northfield really became home to the family as they lived on Ames St. close to St. Peters Church, which became their church home, and to Sibley Elementary where plenty of choir concerts were attended!

When 3M closed the Photofinishing Division, Curtis followed in Marilyn’s footsteps and became a realtor. He was the FHA/HUD person for that area and had his license at Swenson Realty in Northfield. In 1994, Curtis and Marilyn lost their 4th child when son Dale was killed in a crash in New Mexico. Dale was an artist and painter and was living with Curtis at the time. Curtis’ love of the arts took on new meaning as he decided to take up painting, followed by sandblasting and became quite a gardener. His lawn was always well manicured and a visit with Curt inevitably led to a tour around the yard to learn of the different plants, trees and sculptures that he had added that year. Curt’s social media of the time were his morning trips to the Quarterback Club for breakfast, coffee, to catch up on the news and solve the world’s problems with his buddies. Every year during Jesse James Days he held a party for family and friends along the parade route in his yard. It was quite the annual event usually taking on a theme and plenty food for all. Curt loved to work on cars and restored a 1966 Mustang that all the kids wanted to drive around. Many a call he would take from one of his kids asking for advice or help for a broken sink, water heater, painting project, dock day or many other tasks and he would always respond, “I’m on my way” and arrive with tools in hand. Curtis was blessed through the years with 9 grandchildren: Anna, Sarah, Laura, Carston, Elizabeth, Robby, Heidi, Soren and Annika, with whom he loved to spend time. Curtis was always a family man. When asked what he wanted for Father’s Day or his birthday his response was always, “Come to church and sit beside me in the pew.” His faith was important to him and he wanted it to be for his children as well.

In the last few years his age caught up with him as they often do. Being unable to drive, he decided it was time to move to The Commons on Marice, an assisted living facility in Eagan. Curtis suffered from dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away at the Commons with his kids by his side, singing hymns, praying and loving him into the arms of Jesus. Curtis was always a gentle giant of a man with a great big heart. He loved his high school sweetheart and wife, Marilyn, his family, and his church. He believed in helping others and was always willing to lend a hand. Curtis will be missed by so many and was dearly loved!

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