St. Hilaire - Merilla Swenson, 95 of St. Hilaire, died Thursday Feb. 6, 2014 at Pioneer Memorial Care Center in Erskine.
Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 10, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Pastor Greg Schram officiating. Casket bearers included Mike Cronk, Paul Cronk, Daniel Cronk, Tom Hayes, Mark Thorstad and Dan Thorstad. Honorary casket bearers included John Thorstad, Herb Thorstad, and Brian Swenson. Interment was held at Riverside Cemetery, St. Hilaire. Merilla Elizabeth Thorstad was born on Dec. 25, 1918 on a farm in Pennington County. She was the oldest of eight children born to Bert and Myrtle Thorstad. Merilla was baptized and confirmed and was a member of Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls.
On Sept. 16, 1945, she married Melvin Swenson. They lived in Arizona, California, and Minnesota. Together they operated Swenson’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Thief River Falls until they retired to St. Hilaire.
Melvin and Merilla had 5 children. Merilla loved her family, friends, church and her savior, Jesus Christ. She enjoyed growing flowers, reading, sewing, baking bread, and listening to her family sing.
Merilla is survived by her daughter, Anita (Michael) Cronk; daughter-in-law, Charlotte Swenson; grandchildren, Lea (Chris) Byram, Brian (Cheryl) Swenson, Paul (Sarah) Cronk, Sarah Cronk, and Daniel Cronk, and great-grandchildren, Cole and Kara Byram and Amanda and Alexander Swenson; sister, Iva Hayes and brothers, Bert (Ardith) Thorstad and John Thorstad; sisters-in-law, Edna Thorstad and Lillian Thorstad, and many nieces and nephews.
Merilla was preceded in death by her husband Melvin; children, Mark, Timothy, John and Solveig; sisters, Beth Scholin and Mylis Jennings; brothers, James Thorstad and Herb Thorstad; sister-in-law, Millie Thorstad; brothers-in-law, Robert Hayes, Lyle Jennings and Maurits Scholin, and all of Melvin’s siblings and their spouses.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.