Cover photo for Lester J. Swenson's Obituary
Lester J. Swenson Profile Photo

Lester J. Swenson

October 11, 1939 — December 23, 2023

Plymouth

Lester J. Swenson

Lester J. Swenson, age 84 of Plymouth, MN passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2023. Les is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Darlene; his children Greg (Jamie) Swenson, Cindy (John) Resman; five grandchildren who were the apple of his eye – Kristina (Stephen) Dennison, Kyle Swenson, William Resman, Annika Resman and Lilah Resman; and many other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Gudrun Swenson; and brother, Eugene Swenson. Funeral service will be on Thurs., Dec. 28, 2023, at 1:30 at St. Philip the Deacon, 17205 County Road 6, Plymouth, MN 55447. A visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. before the service and a special reception with cake and coffee will follow at 2:30 p.m. Interment at Groveland Cemetery in Minnetonka.

Les was proud of his Iowa roots. He was born on Oct. 11, 1939, to Leonard (1900-1989) and Gudrun Swenson (1902-1993) in Story City. Les walked and biked to his one-story country school starting at 4 years of age; he had a teacher, Mrs. Hauge, all 8 years of country school who inspired him and kept in touch for many years (besides teaching, she had to get the fire going in the coal stove every day)! Les attended high school at Stanhope and Rake, IA and graduated at the age of 17. He went on to Waldorf and Mankato State Colleges, graduating in 1962 (funded partially by his sheep). He later went on to become a certified public accountant and completed an executive MBA course.

Les met the love of his life, Darlene, when they were both working in Minneapolis; they were married for 56 years! He had a deep love for family and his passion for the family tree brought many family connections all the way to Norway that will continue for generations to come. His family can easily recall him grinning as he would share his passion for speaking Norwegian - kan du snakker norsk?

Les taught his children a dedicated work ethic. He spent 30 years of his career at Medtronic and he loved his job and the many friendships that lasted for life. For the next 12 years, he served part-time supporting ten nonprofit organizations.

Anyone who knows him is also aware of Les’ love of the cabin outside Fergus Falls. He and Darlene built a cabin on Wall Lake and they shared that special place with their children, grandchildren and so many special friends and relatives. On the warmest summer days, you would find Les driving a John Deere tractor, mowing the lawn and enjoying a view of the lake.

His zest for life is evident when you consider all the things he loved. He had a knack for history, building that learning into many trips, including across the U.S., to Norway, many countries in Europe, Australia and Tanzania, among others. He loved music, especially singing in a choir, playing the piano, organ and accordion! He loved to dance a polka with Darlene. He preferred Norwegian-style cooking – meat and potatoes, and specialties like Lefse, Lutefisk, Krumkake and Kringla. His favorite meal might have been a chicken pot pie.

Les will be dearly missed by his friends and family, including the special communities at House of Hope Lutheran Church and those he added later in life at Trillium Woods and St. Phillip the Deacon. His family is grateful for the amazing care he received from the staff on the Aspen floor at the Birches at Trillium Woods. Thank you for the care and respect you shared with Les as you carried him through some of life’s hardest days. Even though life was cut short by Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia, he leaves behind family and friends who love him deeply and will be proud to carry on his legacy for family, faith and a responsibility to give back! In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Parkinson’s Foundation, the Lewy Body Dementia Association, or a charity of your choice!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lester J. Swenson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, December 28, 2023

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

Church of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church

MN

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Funeral Service

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Church of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church

MN

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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