April 18, 2023 at 2:47 p.m.

Marilyn (Moening) Swenson


Marilyn Mae (Moening) Swenson, originally from Melrose, passed away March 2, 2023.

Born to Alvina and Albert Moening on the family dairy farm, Marilyn left the farm at 18. After short stints in Alexandria and Alamosa, Colorado, she settled in St. Paul, where she lived for more than 45 years. She became a true city girl.

Marilyn met her sweetie, Ray, at a party attended by other members of the “Laurel Gang.” They married in 1973 and bought a house on Osceola in St. Paul where they raised three children: Sarah, Kim and Anna. Marilyn loved parties and the house on Osceola was home to many of them, including gatherings with the “Card Group,” Chili Sundays, the annual May Party, leaf raking parties, football watching parties, back-to-school barbecues, the dice game and countless birthdays and holidays.

In 2014, Marilyn and Ray moved to the apartment on River Road in St. Paul, where they met a new group of wonderful friends. They enjoyed happy hours under the pergola, watching birds from their patio, progressive dinners, games of 500 and more family gatherings.

Marilyn worked hard. She raised three children and worked full-time. When asked if she took any leave when the girls were born, she said, “huh. I doubt it. Maybe a week.”

After Ray died in 2017, she surprised us all by applying for her first passport. We took advantage of that and took a girls’ trip to Mexico. Just when we thought we had her figured out, she would surprise us.

Marilyn loved being outside soaking up the sun, but was equally happy walking in the snow or rain. Marilyn was a voracious reader, loved coffee, a warm bath and a good glass of white wine. She loved listening to music; John Prine and The Beatles were her favorites.

But what she really loved was her family – Ray; Sarah and Dan; Kim, Brian, Abby, Owen and Evan; and Anna, Dusty, Henry and Miles. In addition to her immediate family, she enjoyed spending time with her siblings and their families. Beach side meals in California with JoAnn and Steve. Cocktail cruises with Bud and Pat. Dinners out and visits with Bill and Joan. Mountain hiking in Oregon with Mark and Kathy. Visits to the ranch in California with Charlie and Jane. Parties with Harry and Colleen.

COVID-19 and cancer robbed her of her plans for retirement. A trip to see a concert at Red Rocks. A trip to visit her sister JoAnn and family in San Diego. Yoga classes and volunteering at school. Ireland. An Alaskan cruise with the family. More card games, more birthdays, more holidays.

As a tribute to her, take the trip. Do the things.

A celebration of life will be held May 20 at the house on Osceola. Email Sarah at [email protected] for information.



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