Lois Marie Swanson, 85, died on Thursday, January 18, at her home at Charter House in Rochester.
Lois was born July 14, 1932, in Viborg, South Dakota, to Marie and Viggo Rasmussen. She grew up first in Viborg and then, after the deaths of her parents, in Chicago. Her studies for a B.A. degree with a major in French at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, included a year of study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She married David W. Swanson in 1953, and the couple raised three children, living in Geneva, Illinois, during the 1960s and moving to Rochester in 1970. While her husband pursued his career as a physician at the Mayo Clinic, Lois devoted herself to her family, her church, and her love of music. She studied and taught piano; she sang in the choir at Zumbro Lutheran Church; she took a four-year curriculum of music courses at St. Olaf College; and she both enjoyed and enriched the music community in Rochester, maintaining an active interest in piano and choral music all of her life.
Lois is survived by her children, Susan Marie Swanson (Tom Hysell) of St. Paul, David (Shelli) of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Bruce (Celeste) of St. Paul; by six grandchildren, Nicholas (Sarah) Swanson-Hysell, Benjamin (Ella) Swanson-Hysell, Sarah Swanson, Annika Swanson, Matthew Swanson, and Peter Swanson; and a great-grandchild, Madeline Swanson-Hysell. All of these family members gathered recently for a joyful wedding, and many enjoyed Lois's warm hospitality this Christmas. She is also survived by her brother, Robert Rasmussen, and her treasured friend, Herb Stellner. Lois was beloved by many friends and by an extended family that includes many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2004; her sisters, Joy Marks and Rose Dreiding, and her brother, Thomas Rasmussen.
Donations in her memory may be made to Zumbro Lutheran Church.
A memorial service for Lois Swanson will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, February 12, at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. Visitation will be one hour before the service, and a luncheon will follow.
To share a special memory please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
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Lois with her great-granddaughter Madeline in 2012.
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