Grace Julia Isabelle Swanson, age 91, of Dassel, died Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, at the Lakeside Health Care Center in Dassel.
She was born May 30, 1920, in Stockholm Township, Wright County, the daughter of Knute and Julia (Norman) Alm. Grace grew up in the Stockholm area until 1925, when the family moved to Minneapolis.
In 1930, they moved back to Dassel, where Grace graduated from the Dassel High School in 1938. After high school, she attended teachers training, and later in life attended St. Cloud State.
Grace was baptized in 1920 in Cokato, and confirmed in 1934 in Dassel. She was presently a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Dassel and had been a long-time member of Lake Jennie Covenant Church in rural Dassel.
Grace was united in marriage to Vernal Swanson May 24, 1941, at the Stockholm Lutheran Church in rural Cokato. The couple made their home in various places while Vernal was in the US Air Force during World War II.
Upon completion of Vernal’s tour of duty in the Air Force, they made their home in Minneapolis until 1947, when they moved to Lake Jennie. In 1976 Grace moved to Dassel, where she has since resided.
Grace taught for several years in the rural school districts around the Dassel area and, after the consolidation, worked at the Dassel Elementary as a para-educator from 1969 until her retirement in 1987.
She served as the Bloodmobile coordinator for nearly 20 years, taught Sunday school for 51 years, and had been the Dassel Covenant Women’s president, Covenant Women’s district president, a member of the church board, and a member of the Lake Jennie Stitch and Chatter Club.
Grace loved children and volunteered to help them whenever she could. She was deeply proud of her grandchildren, and enjoyed spending time with them. She will be deeply missed by her family and her friends.
Grace is survived by her children, Twila (Michael) Thalberg of Spicer, Sharon (Lloyd) Melvie of Buffalo, Dr. Todd (Barb) Swanson of Chaska, Scott (Sue) Swanson of Waco, TX, and Denise (Buck) Rathbun of Aquila, AZ; nine grandchildren, Stephanie Karasek, David Thalberg, Mark Thalberg, Tristin Handley, Travis Melvie, Erin Swanson, Eric Swanson, Whitney Lopas, and Kristy Swanson, and six great-grandchildren, Austin, Parker, and Grace Karasek, Christian and Liam Melvie, and Abigail Lopas.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Vernal; her parents; and two sisters, Norma Tierney and Sigrid Sandie.
The funeral service took place Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Dassel with the Rev. Keith Carlson officiating. Interment followed at the Lake Jennie Covenant Church Cemetery.
Visitation was Monday evening, Sept. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.