Obituary of Helen Huset Swanson
Helen Huset Swanson passed away peacefully at the age of 94 surrounded by the love of her family. She was born in Vancouver Barracks, WA, the fourth child of Elmer A. Huset and Mabel Rood Huset. Helen is preceded in death by her parents and her older siblings, Kathryn Lundy, Elmer “Bud” Huset, and Louis Huset. She is survived by her husband, Burt Swanson; her children Steven (Mary) Swanson, Kathryn (Clark) Zard, Paul Swanson, Timothy (Theresa) Swanson, Patrick (Nina) Swanson, and Kari (Scott) Anderson; and her 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Helen grew up in the Twin Cities, living first in Columbia Heights, where her father was the Pastor of First Lutheran Church, and later in South Minneapolis where she attended Roosevelt High School. Her mother passed away when Helen was 14. She then moved to live with her sister’s family in California. After graduating from Burlingame High School in 1947, she moved back to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota.
During her course work in the School of Business, she met Burt and knew that she had found the love of her life. They married in September of 1950 after Burt graduated. On the day of their wedding, Burt received his orders to report for active-duty service in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant. Helen stayed in Minneapolis and completed her degree in Business Education then worked as a high school business teacher. Soon she traveled to Japan where Burt was stationed, and they began their 73-year marriage together.
After their return to Minneapolis, Burt used the GI Bill to enroll in the University of Minnesota Law School. In the spring of 1953, they began their family, and Helen stayed home to raise her children. She was a remarkable homemaker and fully supported Burt’s legal career. They were equal partners in the ambitious endeavor of raising six children born over 17 years.
Helen was proud of her Norwegian heritage and embedded many of those customs into the family holidays and everyday life. She valued hard work, education, humility, grace, and generosity. She generously shared her talents to support her family’s education and activities, their church and community, and many charitable organizations.
Burt and Helen were very social, spending time with relatives, lifelong friends, old neighbors, and anyone willing to play bridge. They traveled extensively and enjoyed long outdoor walks, downhill skiing, and family vacations at the northern lakes. During their retirement, they enjoyed golf and friends at Somerset Country Club and winters in Bonita Springs, Florida. Favorite moments came during family visits with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Helen was protective of her children, celebrating their successes and supporting them during difficult times. Helen would often say, “How lucky are we?” Over the last few years as her health declined and dementia progressed, she was robbed of the ability to tell her own story. Our family is grateful for the care and support she received from Brighton Hospice and Lexington Pointe Memory Care. She is now at peace…and we will share her story with the next generation.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, at Willwerscheid Funeral Home (1167 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN). The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday February 23, at King of Kings Lutheran Church (1583 Radio Drive, Woodbury, MN) with visitation one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will follow. There will be a private Committal Service at Lakewood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dodge Nature Center or Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, Minnesota.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Swanson, please visit Tribute Store