St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Obituaries -- Ethel Flom Swanson and Ruby Hanson

Every Christmas we get back some of our 140 newsletters sent out to relatives and friends with post office undeliverable messages.   This year two of our cousins passed away and we didn't find out until this week.  Another was like us, we stayed put but our mail address changed.   The post office computers are not at all forgiving in box numbers and street addresses being mixed up.  
I think we are supposed to do 
    Box 755
    2558 Evergreen Av
    Cushing, WI 54006     (we actually are using a post office box rather than rural delivery for the past year -- and of course our MN address is still functional as we get our official mail there).  

Ethel Flom was the niece of my grandmother's brother's wife.  Edwin Paulson, brother of Grandmother Hannah Paulson Hanson married Grace Skow (Danish roots).  Her niece, Ethel Flom, who married Maynard Swanson (all of NW Iowa in the Wesley area), passed away at age 93.  We visited her about 1.5 years ago last at the nursing home Britt, IA where she was physically having problems, but mentally sharp.  She and her husband Maynard loved traveling and were often visitors at the farm thinking nothing of staying until 6 pm and then driving 7 hours on home.  

Her obituary:  
Ethel Marie Swanson was born September 30, 1920, in Wesley, Iowa, the daughter of Ole and Mary (Skow) Flom. She grew up on a farm near Wesley. Ethel was a member of the last class to graduate from the Wesley High School in 1938. She went on to become a licensed teacher in the spring of 1940. Ethel then began teaching at the Wesley Township Country School and she later taught at the Titonka Buffalo Township School. 

To further her own education Ethel returned to school at Wheaton College in Illinois before going to what is now the University of Northern Iowa, but was then named the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she graduated in 1946. She returned and taught in the Renwick schools before moving back to Wesley to teach from 1948-1968.

On June 9, 1969, Ethel was united in marriage to F. Maynard Swanson in Wesley. After their marriage they lived in Wesley and Ethel took one year off before returning to the classroom. Ethel then taught in Corwith from 1969 - 1981, retiring after 41 total years as an educator.

Ethel and Maynard rarely missed an event in the Corwith - Wesley area and they loved to travel, having visited 47 states and their capital cities. She was a lifelong member of the Evangelical Free Church in Wesley and also a member of the International Gideon Organization. In the fall of 2013, Ethel had the honor of serving as the Grand Marshall of the Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne Homecoming parade.

Ethel died Wednesday, August 20, 2014, at the Kanawha Community Home in Kanawha, Iowa. She was 93.

She is survived by several nieces and nephews and their families.

Ethel was preceded in death by her parents, Ole and Mary Flom; her husband, F. Maynard Swanson on September 23, 2009, and a sister, Anna Flom.

Another cousin, Ruby Hanson passed away in September in Watertown SD.  My great grandfather, Charles Hanson had a brother Adolf Frederic Hanson, both born in Sweden and both coming to Wisconsin in the 1870s.  Fred (A. Fred) had 11 children, one of whom was named Henry.  Henry's first wife died in the 1929 tornado that went through the Barron Wisconsin area, just a few weeks after they were married.  Henry, despondent, spent a winter living with his Uncle Eugene (my grandfather) and wife Nettie.  Later he farmed the home farm in Barron County finally selling and moving to SD, where he met Ruby and married her.  Margo and I stopped in to visit Ruby many times on our way out west to visit cousins on the coast.  She was a very nice, active woman and fun to visit.  The last time was about 3 years ago, and she was in a nursing home and somewhat forgetful.  She was the last from the second generation families of Hanson's in the USA.  

Ruby C. Hanson, age 95, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at a care center in Watertown. She was the widow of Henry Hanson. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Watertown. Rev. John Carter will officiate. Music will be provided by Karen Livingston as organist with congregational singing. The family is requested to meet at the church by 10:00 a.m. for a family prayer service.
Visitation will be at the Crawford Funeral Chapel in Watertown, on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and prior to services at the church on Wednesday.
Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Watertown. Honorary pallbearers will be all former employees of Oak Valley Farms. Active pallbearers will be Ruby’s nephews: Gary Borns, Doug Borns, David Borns, Dan Beutow, James Beutow and Joel Beutow.
Ruby was born on July 18, 1919, at South Shore, SD, to Arthur and Anna (Noeldner) Borns. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mazeppa Township. Ruby attended country school at District #61 in Codington County, SD.
On December 27, 1946, Ruby married Henry A. Hanson at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rauville, SD. She was employed as a supervisor at Oak Valley Farms for 50 years from 1944 to 1994. She received an award at Pierre, in 1984, from Gov. Janklow for hiring the handicap.
She was currently a member of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, belonging to Ladies’ Aid and Mission Circle. Ruby was a faithful supporter of St. Martin’s Lutheran School since it’s inception. She enjoyed cooking for family gatherings, taking pictures and creating feather flowers. Ruby was always concerned and thinking of others.
Ruby is survived by her son, Roger Hanson, of Watertown, SD; one grandson, Ian; one great-granddaughter, Quinn; and two sisters, Jeanette (John) Moes and Delores Beutow both of Watertown.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; one granddaughter, Ashley; her parents; six brothers and one sister.

Although both cousins had long productive and interesting lives, it is hard for us to say good bye--they were the living links to our past.  Visiting with them and listening to the stories of nearly a century ago was fascinating.  Both were gracious hosts, loved company and were active, interesting and vital people for the first 90 years, before health issues came to the front.   It is tough to become the old timers in our family -- as those few left in the preceding generation disappear rapidly.  I think Aunt Ramona may be the last link to my parent's generation left.