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Melvin Arnold Swendra

Melvin Arnold Swendra, age 49 of Cokato, died suddenly Sunday, Dec. 31, 2000, at Meeker County Memorial Hospital, Litchfield.

Melvin was born March 17, 1951, in St. Cloud, Minn., to Arnold and Blanche (Tomte) Swendra. He lived his childhood in French Lake Township, attended Lee School, and graduated from Annandale High School in 1969.

After high school, Melvin attended St. Cloud VoTech and graduated from there in 1971.

Melvin married Diane Randall Oct. 17, 1970 in Fairhaven, Minn. They made their home in Cokato.

A lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church, Melvin served on the church council, as Sunday school superintendent, and on many other committees.

Melvin was a businessman in Cokato for 20 years, serving his clients with American Family Insurance. He was also active in many local organizations, including the Cokato Chamber of Commerce.

Melvin served as mayor of Cokato from 1990 to 1998. At the time of his death, Mel was president of the Cokato Development Corporation.

He was also a very active part of the Cokato Corn Carnival Committee. Mel's job was to bring corn from the factory to the park.

At the time of his death, Melvin had reached the age of 49 years, nine months, and 14 days.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; children, Ramona, Robert (Karen), and Renee (Jay) Miller; a granddaughter, Kalena Swendra, all of Cokato; two step-grandchildren, Casey and Kaitlyn Miller of Dassel; a brother, Howard (Diane) of Foley; a sister, Lavonne (Joe) of Chandler, Ariz.; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and a niece, Tami Swendra.

Funeral services were Friday, Jan. 5, 2 p.m., at Grace Lutheran Church, with the Revs. Frank Schmeling and Nancy Drier officiating. Music was provided by Barb Root and John Erickson. Interment followed in the church cemetery.

Douglas Randall, Willard Reid, Michael Swendra, Robert Weisbrich, Steven Randall, Justin Swendra, Ellerd Tomte, and Joe Hammers served as casket bearers.

Arrangements were by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home, Inc., Cokato and Howard Lake.

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