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Rosemary Swenson, 85, Poynette

May 18, 2019 GMT

Rosemary Ellen Swenson, 85, of Poynette, and formerly of Pardeeville, passed away Monday, May 13, 2019, surrounded by her daughters.

Born in Sauk City, she was the daughter of Archie and Bessie (Jackson) McKinney. She was a 1952 graduate of Arena High School. After high school she worked in the labs of Badger Ordnance Works near Baraboo, a job she really liked. Rosemary also enjoyed ballroom dancing in Sauk and Baraboo with her friends and then eventually with her husband to be. On Sept. 3, 1955, she married John H. Swenson in Sauk City. They lived in Madison for a few years before buying a small farm outside of Pardeeville on Highway 33 where she raised their five children. They enjoyed 40 years there raising animals, gardening, hosting trap shoots, sledding parties and barn dances. She had many happy memories there as a stay-at-home mom raising her children.


Family was very important to her and she treasured family gatherings with lots of food, cookouts and Sunday suppers. Her grandchildren were her pride and joys and she loved spending time with them. She loved traveling; taking many camping trips and family vacations to Florida, North Carolina and out West. In 1984, she began working at Rhodes Sales and Service and worked there many years as a bookkeeper, a job she cherished until she retired. In 2005, they sold the beloved family farm and moved to Poynette. Faith was very important to Rosemary and she treasured her many years with the Rio and Portage Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses making many lifelong friendships.

Rosemary is survived by her daughters, Joan (Victor) June of Poynette, Kimberly Kenevan of Portage, Ellen Swenson and fiancé George Bolgrin of Sussex, and Elizabeth (William) Helt of Sun Prairie; brother-in-law Jim Swenson; sisters-in-law, Sally Iverson, Vonnie Swenson, Betty McKinney, and Ruthie Falk; grandchildren Christopher (Nicole) June, Ashley (Uriel) Ealy, Angela (Josh) Carpenter, Cory (Stephanie) Kenevan, Ben (Heather) Kenevan, Taylor Swenson, Dustin (Veronica) Baldassari, Brett Baldassari, and Carter Helt; eight great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents Archie and Bessie McKinney; beloved husband John Swenson; son Timothy Swenson; grandson Timothy Swenson Jr.; brothers, Charles “Bud” Lawsing, Kenneth McKinney, and Patrick McKinney; and sisters, Kathleen Mayhew and Margaret Weiss.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019, at Grasse Funeral Home, 119 Industrial Drive, Pardeeville. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the time of service.


The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Heartland Hospice and to the third floor nursing staff of the Stoughton Hospital. Their care and support was phenomenal and many went above and beyond in the care of mom.

“And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

Online condolences may be made at grassefs.com. Grasse Funeral Service in Pardeeville is serving the family.