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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Greta Swenson would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. Gracious, kindhearted, and humble, she exemplified what it means to be a committed Christian woman in everything she did. Greta was blessed to share the best years of her life with her true love, and together they experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. Having seen so many beautiful places in the United States and even abroad, what made these such special times were the memories she made with the ones she loved. Life will never be the same without Greta here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Although we were neutral, that changed when the vicious attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor left us with no choice but to declare war the following day, on December 8, 1941. It was just as this decade was getting started that Frank and Dorothy (Swenson) Lindquist were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Greta Ann on April 26, 1940, in Erie, Pennsylvania. She was one of three Lindquist girls as she was raised alongside her sisters, Joan and Carolyn. To support their family Greta’s father was a draftsman for General Electric who also sold auto insurance on the side while her mother was a homemaker who also worked in an insurance office part-time. Their family was very close, and they spent holidays together in Erie, Pennsylvania. Together they were members of the Mission Covenant Church in Erie.
In many ways Greta was a young girl of her generation. She enjoyed being with her sisters, sewing, swimming at the local pool, cooking, and visiting friends. Greta was such a gifted seamstress that she won two sewing contests in high school, and she won two cherry baking contests as well. She loved reading, tried her hand at playing the violin, enjoyed attending Bible club, and also liked watching sports on television. The most significant thing during her formative years was when Greta became a Christian when she was just eight or nine. She was also so proud that she learned to ride her bike and mastered making her own clothes. Greta attended Lawrence Park Elementary and High School and then went on to North Park College in Chicago, IL as well as to the University of Minnesota before finally completing her BS in home economics at Villa Marie College in Erie, Pennsylvania. Later on, she earned her MS in home economics from California State College at Northridge, Mississippi.
Throughout her life Greta was so free spirited. After college she traveled to Sweden three times including one special Christmas. After she was married Greta also traveled much more. She married someone she had known her entire life. His name was Charles Swenson, and he was a teacher and principle in Pocantico Hills Central Schools in Terrytown, New York. Greta and Chuck connected in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and were married within two months at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina on August 10, 1986. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon traveling across the United States to Santa Barbara, California. Greta and Chuck settled in Santa Barbara where she taught home economics at Santa Barbara High School. Through her marriage she also gained a stepson, Charles and his wife Squeaky, and their son, Trevor Swenson. They all enjoyed many extended visits together in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, or where ever Chuck and Greta were living at the time. She and her husband traveled all over the United States together and also went to Sweden for three months in 1990. Greta and Chuck also shared a love for classical and sacred music. She was very involved at her church as she worked with their building and grounds, frequently cooked for various activities, helped establish their Bible school program and was the chair of both the women’s programs and of the music committee.
Greta loved to provide special handmade gifts to her nieces and nephews. All enjoyed a personally made quilt and Christmas stocking. She was involved and active in Covenant Village and famous for her grape pie. She was liked by all her knew her.
Genuine, loving, and wise are just a few of the words that come to mind when reflecting on the life of Greta Swenson. She was a committed Christian woman who lived to serve others in ways both great and small. Creative and talented, she was made amazing quilts, and she inspired so many students as a dynamic educator for several years. A devoted wife and friend, Greta was such a blessing to everyone she met. Deeply loved, she will never be forgotten.
SWENSON, Greta Ann, Grand Rapids, MI, Age 76, passed away on January 31, 2017 at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes. She was born April 26, 1940 in Erie, PA the daughter of the late Frank and Dorothy (Swenson) Lindquist. Greta taught High School Home Economics, she was gifted quilter and cook, and she was a member of First Evangelical Covenant Church. Greta is survived by her husband of 30 years, Charles Swenson; stepson, Charles (Squeaky) Swenson of Pawleys Island, SC; and grandson, Trevor Swenson of Pawleys Island, SC. Also surviving are her sisters, Joan Carlson of Chicago, IL and Caroline (Joe) Norder of Erie, PA.; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 4th at 11 AM at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, 2510 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 10 AM. Interment will be in Erie, PA. Memorials may be made to Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Benevolent Fund. Please visit Greta's personal webpage to learn more of her life story, leave a memory or condolence at www.lifestorynet.com.