CHICAGO, IL (September 12, 2012) – Helen B. Swanson, widow of Evangelical Covenant Church pastor Richard J. Swanson, died Sunday at her daughter’s home in Chicago. She was three days shy of her ninety-first birthday.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. September 23 at North Park Covenant Church in Chicago. A second memorial service will be conducted at a time to be determined on October 27 at the Cape Cod Covenant Church in Brewster, Massachusetts.
Born September 12, 1921, to Gustaf and Ruth (Winslow) Brumberg in Horton Township, Pennsylvania, Swanson grew up in nearby Ridgway and attended the Covenant church there. On May 12, 1944, she married Richard J. Swanson, also of Ridgway, who was serving at the time in the U.S. Army.
They moved to Chicago in 1946 while Richard attended North Park College and Theological Seminary. Helen embraced her role as pastor’s wife as her vocation.
They served churches in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Paxton, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; Galesburg, Illinois; and New Britain, Connecticut, as well as several interim pastorates.
Among her many talents, she had a beautiful soprano voice and sang in many church choirs. She was an accomplished seamstress and cook and had a gift for making people feel welcome as she opened her home to countless friends, travelers, and visitors. She loved to read, take walks, visit over a cup of coffee, and watch a Red Sox game.
In retirement, they lived in East Dennis, Massachusetts, and were members of the Cape Cod Covenant Church. She was preceded in death by her husband in 2010 and by two brothers, Robert and Paul (Gus) Brumberg.
She is survived by a son, Jim Swanson; a daughter, Jane Swanson-Nystrom; and three grandchildren, all of Chicago.
Memorials may be directed to the Cape Cod Covenant Church, the North Park Friendship Center, or to the Evangelical Covenant Church Department of Women Ministries.