July 29th - Golden Valley, Calvary Lutheran
From Jan Swenson... Dear Friends of Lois who put that fantastic memorial
service together on Sunday, We have been
simply overwhelmed by your response to this crisis in our lives. Lois was very special in our lives too but we
had no idea of what a warm, wonderful, loving, HUGE extended family she had in
Minneapolis. You have opened your homes
to us when we needed places to stay. You
have fed us physically, mentally and emotionally when we needed it most. You have helped us in countless ways with
things like cleaning out the house, driving us all over the city to get
necessary things done, and saying
hundreds of times "Don't worry.
We'll take care of that!"
The service itself was
beautiful. The music and speakers were perfect, and all the
work on the photo boards, napkins, wrist bands, tables, flowers, name tags,
thank you notes, programs, and organizing in general was amazing. We all feel that we now have hundreds of new
best friends as a result of getting to know many of you so well in such a short
time. We're looking forward to seeing
some of you here in Arena in a couple of weeks too! Until then, much love, many thanks and God
bless you all for what you've done for our family! Jan Swenson =
The entire service can be viewed by selecting the following three links:
(use 'page back' to return)
To see the Program, click Here.
Read comments on the service: http://www.outsidethewalls.org/blog/?p=8133
Captured by KARE 11 TV July 29th (go to 05:00): Click Here.
August 12th - Arena Wisconsin, VFW Hall
From Roberta Aitchison Olson... The Memorial service for Lois
in Arena Wisconsin was a beautiful community event. It seems everyone there
knows the Swenson family. I wanted to let you know a bit about it if you
weren't able to attend and send along some photos.
About 200 people in the packed VFW hall to pay their respects. The 1 hour
service included Lois' brothers Dean and Paul, Janie, Sonya, Doug Swenson &
Doug Johnson, & the minister (who said he also ministers at the church of
the Cinnamon bun (cafe)? As with the service here, there were tears, times for
choking up, chuckles and belly laughs, and lots and lots of stories. I was
amazed at the outpouring of love and support for the Swenson family and their
extended neighbor families who have built barns, harvested crops and babysat
one another's kids for 7 generations!
Helen Williams, a Lois' friend from the U of M grad school, came to the service
from Maryland and told a beautiful story about attending a meeting at St. Kates
as a visiting professor and realizing to her amazement that EVERYBODY knew Lois
Swenson and what a gracious, loving, compassionate and diligent worker she was.
30-ish Todd Pulvermacher (sp?) told of visiting Lois in the Twin Cities each
summer and learning so much from her--including the "2 sheet" toilet
The 15 or so display boards, the lovely picture of Lois with the 3 kids in
Mexico was up front, and Nicki's slide show helped give people the bigger
picture of Lois and her life. Again, there were the WWLD napkins, gardening
seeds, Patty's "row by row" gardener postcard, and Rachel's action
idea form for those so inspired to take home a plan for carrying on after Lois.
Those attending from the Twin Cities were Evie, Janie, Debbie, Signe, Sonya
& Liz, Barb, Rachel and me (with Ray, Simon & Sari). [Did I miss
anyone?] Barb put up me and my family in "the shack," and gave a
Dumpster Diving 101 & 102 lessons to my kids as well as Lois' grandnieces.
So, as historically happens, the yard of the house was filled up like a yard
sale. Debbie and Signe tent camped in the yard and were awoken at 3:30 by
the cows bellowing in the fields surrounding Lois' house. We in the Lois circle
were also honored in a special way--you will find out if you haven't already.
Many hugs were shared
All in all, it was a special trip. We were graciously hosted by the family,
from food in the fridge to buffets, bonfires, rides and lots of visiting around
the table. I, for one, feel grateful for having had this opportunity to
"be" at the farm for awhile, and taken into this beautiful family.
For those of you who could not go, we will try to arrange a get-together soon.
We now have video of the July 29th service here, and can look at that when we
get it on disk or whatever. Thanks to Sean and Rachel for getting that up.