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Mary Elizabeth Swenson

Mary Elizabeth Swenson

July 27, 1944 -

Funeral Service

  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Time: 11:00 a.m.
  • Location: Our Savior's Lutheran Church - Osage, Iowa

Mary Elizabeth Swenson, 78, of Osage, Iowa passed away peacefully at the Mayo Clinic Pallitive Care Unit in Rochester, MN, December 18, 2022. A celebration of her life will be held January 7, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Osage, IA Mary was born July 27, 1944 in Eldora, IA, daughter of Herbert (Mike) Charlson and Capitola (Cappie) Hyland Charlson. She attended St. Ansgar, Iowa schools graduating in 1962. Mary then attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa graduating in 1966 with honors majoring in vocal music education. She taught vocal music at the Osage Community Schools, grades 6 through 12 until her retirement in 2010. Mary directed the New Spirit Choir at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Osage for 43 years retiring in the summer of 2022. While at Wartburg College she met Ken Swenson and they were married June 10, 1967. They were blessed with two sons, Burke and Tanner. They made their home in Osage. During her many years of teaching vocal music Mary touched the lives of her students through music. She was a positive role model, always available to all her students and always willing to listen. Her beautiful smile was comforting and calming to everyone. Through the years Mary was active in many organizations relating to music serving as the director or volunteering behind the scenes. She was also involved in her church and community, active in her church Circle, PEO, Concert Series Association and directing Handel's MESSIAH on several occasions with orchestra and singers from around the area. Mary is survived by her: husband, Ken; sons, Burke (Tatum) Swenson of Council Bluffs, Iowa and Tanner (Ashley) Swenson of Rochester, MN; six grandchildren, Keeley (Jake) Allen of St. Joe, MO, Baylor, Reegan and Ian Swenson of Council Bluffs, IA, Lliam and Emmary Swenson of Rochester, MN; great-grandson Ledger Allen of St. Joe, MO; brother, Dennis (Colleen) Charlson of Mason City, IA and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her: parents, Herbert (Mike) and Cappie Charlson; father and mother-in-law Stuart and Irene Swenson; and nephew Aaron Charlson.


  • Kris Markham

  • Erika Dohrer-Smith

  • James Becker

  • Reegan Swenson

  • Holly Rasmusson

  • Van Osborne

  • Pat Wickham

  • Wayne Gustison

  • Roger & Julie Kittleson

  • Mary & Darryl Feterl

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Mary & Darryl Feterl

January 7, 2023 - 12:06 PM

So very sorry for your loss of Mary. Sending our deepest sympathies to your family. Wish we could’ve been there today.

Roger & Julie Kittleson

January 7, 2023 - 8:39 AM

Sorry for your loss. Condolences to the Swenson family.

Wayne Gustison

January 6, 2023 - 11:35 AM

Ken & Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mary was my choir, madrigal, and Our Saviors Lutheran Church director in the early 70s. I had the pleasure of re-meeting Ken and Mary 40 years later at church on Easter Sunday in 2015 as I visited my mother that year. I will keep all of you in our prayers.

Mark Gisleson

January 3, 2023 - 1:50 PM

Ken, so sorry for your loss.

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