Linda Carol (Wilson) Swenson of Menomonie passed away at home Monday, June 17, 2019, surrounded by her family. It was the end of a long illness, marked by a final three-day vigil that left us crushed yet rejoicing. Having served Jesus so faithfully, she finished her race in peace. Despite her several afflictions on earth, including non-Alzheimer’s memory disorder, she’s now resting where nothing is wrong with anybody or anything at any time ever.
Her death leaves an unfillable hole yet an inextinguishable witness. While her life overflowed with love, joy and service, it was kindness that defined her most purely. Superhero kindness. She dispensed it continuously in all directions, friends and strangers alike. She was anointed for this purpose, and oh my, did she enjoy it.
Born in Geneva, Ill. Nov 15, 1948, to Everett and Genevieve Wilson, she excelled in high school and college, earning degrees in English and nursing. Despite her extraordinary academic achievements, her natural beauty and elegance, and the many paths available, Linda chose the humble world of service and simplicity. She cared only about people. Her life’s goal was to encourage others, to share their burdens, to point them heavenward.
One notable way she accomplished this ministry was through baking. Linda enjoyed cooking, but she loved baking. The rest of us quite loved it too. Her specialties were Scandinavian, especially Swedish cardamom bread. She gave away thousands of loaves; people were thrilled to see her walk through the door with her apron on.
She loved her prayer corner. She’d sit in her rocker for hours at a time, looking out at the wren’s nest, and doing what she did best: loving God, praying, singing hymns, reading Scriptures, studying devotional materials, preparing for who would cross her path that day, pondering what her beloved sons and families were doing. There’s a good chance she prayed for you or wrote you a note of encouragement.
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Linda married Richard Alan Swenson Aug. 16, 1966, in St. Charles, Ill. They’d had classes together since seventh grade but never conversed until near graduation. Then it was full speed ahead. After Richard’s medical school and residency, they moved to Menomonie where they’ve lived for 42 years. When Richard wrote books and traveled speaking, Linda was at his side in every endeavor. After meeting her, people always thought better of him.
She is survived by her husband, Richard, sons Adam (Maureen) of St. Paul and Matthew (Suzie) from all over, precious granddaughter Katja, and sister Marcia Borgie of San Diego. She is preceded in death by her parents, Everett and Genevieve Wilson; her brother, Craig Wilson; and her 11-month-old grandson, Nico Everett Swenson.
People from both U.S. and international settings were added to our extended family over the years, living with us for various lengths of time and enriching our lives immeasurably. You each know how much Linda loved you, cared for you, prayed for you, and fed you! A dear friend from the Middle East wrote: “Her kind heart and uniquely adorable personality is not forgettable.”
We love you dearest Liebe and miss you and thank you for nurturing us so well in the things that matter. And we thank you, Lord Jesus, for it is only your unspeakable gift on the cross that makes our sure and eternal reunion possible. We can’t wait to see You both.
Linda’s service will be at Menomonie Alliance Church in mid-July with details still pending.