Gwendolyn Jean "Gwen" Swanson, 86, of Kimball, SD passed away Monday, May 20, 2019 at Firesteel Heathcare Center in Mitchell, SD. Funeral Services are 10:30 A.M. Friday, May 24, 2019 at Kimball Protestant Parish. A Committal Service will follow at Kimball Community Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to services on Friday.
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Gwendolyn Jean (Sattler) Swanson was born to John and Margaret (Arp) Sattler on September 22, 1932 on their farm near Twin Buttes between Naper and Butte, NE where she lived for the first five years of her life. They then moved to a farm south of Burke, SD where she attended Pheasant Site School for grades 1 – 8, walking a mile to and from school. She graduated from Burke High School in 1950, staying at three different places in town during those four years of school. Over several summers she attended 10 weeks of school in Springfield, SD for college credit. Through correspondence work, she received her B.S. degree.
After graduation at age 17, she taught grade school for two years at Streeter School staying with a local family and walking to and from school. Gwen returned home where she taught for five years, this time driving an old Chevy the two and a half miles to school and back. Things came full circle when she was able to teach a year at the Pheasant Site School where she began her education.
Gwen relocated to Chamberlain, SD, living in the Yates home and driving a new brown two tone car while teaching the fourth grade for three years. This is where she met Alvin at a basketball game. On June 30, 1961 she was united in marriage to Alvin Swanson at Union Congregational Church in Gregory, SD.
She returned to teaching when her children were all in school, teaching 4th grade at Kimball Elementary for several years. Gwen loved all of her students and the staff that she worked with.
Gwen enjoyed spending time with family, especially when her young grandchildren came and stayed for short periods during the summer. Gwen loved playing the piano and the organ. Other hobbies included embroidering, quilting, yo-yoing, crafting, baking and cooking. While Gwen stayed busy, Church and Faith stood at the forefront of her life. Every day she prayed for all her family members and friends. In her church, Gwen was involved in bible study, Ladies Circle group, and Bible School.
Grateful for having shared in Gwen's life: her husband of over 57 years, Alvin Swanson of Kimball, SD; four children: Marjean (Carl) Rainey of St. George, UT, Wanda Effling of Artesian, SD, Angela (Jason) Kulm of Mitchell, SD and Alvin Troy (Monica) Swanson of Pukwana, SD; 12 grandchildren: Taylor Effling, Nathan (Tatem) Effling, Zachary Effling, Logan Effling, Jacob Kulm, Chelsea Kulm, Mallory Swanson, Miles Swanson, Cade Swanson, Aiden Swanson, Victoria (Kyal) Parker and Abigail Rainey; a brother-in-law, John Swanson of Chamberlin, SD; a sister-in-law, Lois Bickner of Sioux Falls, SD; along with many nieces and nephews.
Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, John and Margaret Sattler; two brothers: Dean Sattler and Leighton Sattler; an infant son, Steven Leighton Swanson; and a son-in-law, Leo Effling.