Marilyn Jane Swenson

Marilyn Jane Swenson

  • Funeral Date: 8/14/15
  • Funeral Time: 10:00 a.m.
  • Date of Birth: 12/24/31
  • Date of Death: 8/09/15
  • Funeral Location: St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Northfield

Marilyn Swenson age 83, of Northfield, peacefully passed on Sunday, August 9, 2015. A Celebration of Marilyn’s Life will be Friday, August 14, 2015 at 10 AM at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. Interment will be in the Northfield Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4-7 PM at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield and will continue for 1 hour prior to the service at the church.

Marilyn Jane Swenson was born on December 24, 1931, in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota to Norbert and Albertina (Fredrickson) Leifermann. She was the youngest of 7 children and the baby doll! She was involved in everything at a small school- cheerleading, yearbook, speech, drama and had a passion for music. She played Saxophone, Piano and sang. It was a treat to hear her and her 5 sisters sing “Sentimental Journey” in harmony along with many other songs. She graduated from Buffalo Lake High School with the class of 1949. She continued her education at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Marilyn and her mother moved to Minneapolis and Marilyn had several jobs with Sarah Coventry Jewelry and Dayton’s.

Marilyn met Curtis at a wedding in Buffalo Lake. The next day at a church picnic in the park Curtis was there, Marilyn took the opportunity while playing” Kick the can” to keep kicking it over by Curtis. They courted and loved to dance together at the Lake Marion Ballroom. On October 21, 1951 Marilyn was united in marriage to Curtis Swenson at Richfield Lutheran Church in Richfield, Minnesota. She had her 5 sisters Lillian, Lucille, Ruby, Delores and Bernadine stand up for her. After losing her father at age 7 her brother Pat gave her away. A picture of this great event made it into the Star Journal. They shared 63 years of marriage until Curtis passed away on June 8, 2015. They moved to Florida where Curtis was stationed with the United States Navy. While living in Florida Marilyn stayed busy working for the state doing data entry for the bureau of vital statistics. Here they welcomed Candace into the family. Shortly after Candy was born, they moved back to Minnesota to be closer to family. Marilyn became pregnant two more times and lost both daughters Cindy and Robin shortly after birth.

They bought a home in Brooklyn Center. While in that tiny home Marilyn and Curtis welcomed into the world Scott, Tina, Craig, Julie, Terri, Dean and Dale. They then Purchased 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. Both coming from big families they had always wished for a big family and their dreams had come true. Wanting their children to grow up in a small town, they made their way to Northfield following a job opportunity for Curtis with 3M. Northfield became the home of Cows, Colleges, Contentment and the Swenson’s as they lived on Ames Street. This was close to St. Peters Church, their church home which nurtured their faith, and to Sibley Elementary where plenty of Choir Concerts were attended!

Marilyn loved her big family and wanted to help support the family so she took on several jobs in town that allowed her flexible hours selling World book and Playhouse Toys. These were products she believed in and happened to have a few kids she could bring along as demonstrators for the home shows! While working at a gift store in Northfield her outgoing personality and desire to help care for her family led her into Real Estate. Here she met Bill Storlie who asked her to come be a realtor in his office. She passed the test and her career calling had been found. The hours were flexible so she could arrange work around her busy family schedule.

Marilyn, always being ambitious, had goals and dreams of starting her own Real Estate company. She studied and passed the Broker exam becoming the first female broker in Rice County. Marilyn opened up Swenson Realty , Gallery of Homes in 1976. Her love for people and ability to engage and inspire others led others to become realtors as well. At one time she had 15 realtors working under her including her own children. Tina, Terri, Craig and Dean all became realtors and spent time in the Family business. From Mobile homes to Mansions her philosophy was that every person deserves a home! Over 42 years she was able to help people make that dream of “Home Sweet Home” come true. She was so good at it because it was what she loved to do! She dropped the Franchise along the way and became just Swenson Realty. Even with the ups and downs of the market she and Terri just kept on making people’s dreams of home ownership a reality.

Above all Marilyn’s favorite job she ever had was being a mother! Her children were her pride and joy. She always believed the best in them, was an encourager and wanted the best for them. You may have been the recipient of her Christmas letter which she would write the events of the year and about each child’s highlights…she loved to talk about her kids. Marilyn Loved the Lord and she and Curtis ensured that faith was a big part of their family. She Loved everything about Northfield and would proudly encourage everyone she met to visit especially for Jesse James Days! She was an Optimist and always had a kind word to say as she interviewed everyone she met. In 1994, Marilyn and Curtis lost their 4th child when Dale was killed in a crash in New Mexico. Dale was an artist and painter. The only thing that held a candle to her children were the Grandchildren. Marilyn and Curtis loved to attend the concerts, plays, games, contests and graduations. She was so proud of them and enjoyed visiting and hearing all about what was going on in their lives, their accomplishments and their dreams.

Marilyn was the ultimate “Avenger”, not talking Super Hero here, but in taking her kids along for the ride. Whether it was to cities for an all day marathon shopping trip (she loved to shop), or across the USA to a Real Estate convention . She was always a “let’s go” person…a rolling stone gathers no moss and neither did Marilyn. She instilled this in all of her kids and was quick to go along on Trips to the Lake, Holden Village, Maui, Mackinaw Island, Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp, Florida’s Disneyworld… to infinity and beyond. August 9th she spent on an “avenge” with Dean and his children in the van. They were singing songs and on a driving tour of Summit Avenue to see the beautiful homes, her homes in Brooklyn Center and Plymouth, the church she was married in and a stop to visit Candace. She was doing what she loved to do all day. She suddenly didn’t feel well and quickly it turned out she was ready to begin her next and best adventure. She passed away and joined her Sweetheart Curtis, Children Cindy, Robin, Robby, Dale, siblings and all who have gone before her. Best of all into the loving arms of Jesus.

Marilyn was an inspiration to her children and those who knew and loved her. She was brave and never afraid to try new things. She loved people and always made you feel welcomed and special. Marilyn and Curtis leave their legacy to us their children and to all who knew them. Marilyn you will be missed by so many and were dearly loved!

Marilyn is survived by her children, Candace (Dale) Carlson of Richfield, Scott (Carol) Swenson of Eagan, Tina Swenson of Northfield, Craig (Kristin) Swenson of Burnsville, Julie (Pam) Swenson of Chanhassen, Teresa Swenson of Northfield, and Dean (Jen) Swenson of Lakeville and Steven Swenson of Santa Fe, New Mexico; 9 grandchildren Anna, Sarah, Laura, Carston, Robby, Elizabeth, Heidi, Soren and Annika Swenson. Many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Norbert and Albertina Frederikson) Leifermann; husband, Curtis Swenson; children, Cindy, Robyn, Robert, and Dale Swenson. She was dearly loved and will be missed!

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