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Margaret L. Swanson

Posted January 24, 2014 in Obituaries, Pleasant Hill

December 14, 1911 – January 23, 2014

Margaret Swanson

Margaret Swanson

Margaret Linnea Swanson, age 102, of Valley View Village in Des Moines passed away peacefully, January 23, 2014. A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m Sunday January 26, 2014 at Valley View Village. Margaret was born on a farm near Elgin, Illinois, December 14, 1911 to William and Anna Dahlstrom. When Margaret proved to be their tenth and final child, she grew up hearing her father speak of her in his native Swedish as “the crown of my works”.

Margaret took piano lessons from the sixth grade through high school and in her twenties served as the pianist of the Lily Lake Covenant Church. Here she met her future husband, Rev. Milton Swanson, when as a seminary student from Chicago, he came as a summer intern pastor. They were married in 1937 and served Evangelical Covenant churches in Kansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota.

In 1972, Margaret moved with her husband to Des Moines where he began serving as chaplain of Valley View Village. Once again she played the piano for the worship services and at other times for the enjoyment of the residents. When Milton retired, they purchased a house across the street from Valley View. Shortly after her husband’s death, Margaret moved into a Valley View cottage, and more recently lived in the unit for people with memory loss. Even there, about once a week, Margaret continued playing old hymns on the piano informally for the dozen or so other residents of her unit some of whom, despite their own memory loss, were able to sing along without a hymnbook.

Margaret was preceded in death by her nine older siblings, her husband of 63 years, and her daughter, Fern Katter, of Chicago, in April, 2013. She is survived by her son, Wayne Swanson and his wife Susan and their daughter Beverly, all of Atlanta, Georgia and by her son-in-law Calvin Katter of Chicago.

Margaret was known at Valley View as a caring and pleasant person with a gentle and unassuming nature. She was full of love and concern for others. Early in life Margaret placed her trust in Jesus Christ and lived a life of devotion to him. One of her favorite hymns concludes,

And when at last the mists of time have vanished, And I in truth my faith confirmed shall see,
Upon the shore where earthly ills are banished
I’ll enter, Lord, to dwell in peace with thee.”


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Grandview Park Chapel
3211 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50317

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