Gatzke - Darlene Joyce (Ruud) Swagger, 75, Gatzke, died Monday, March 17, 2014, at her home.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29 at United Lutheran Church in Gatzke, with burial to follow at Landstad Cemetery in Gatzke. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
Darlene was born Oct. 22, 1938 at home on the “Ole Taie” place at Gatzke to Johnnie and Vivian (Knutson) Ruud. In 1949, she moved with her parents to Middle River. In 1950, they moved to Minneapolis. She graduated from Marshall High in Minneapolis in 1956. While living in Minneapolis, she held several jobs there.
In 1959, she met and married Dale Swagger from Lake City. They lived in Lake City for a couple of years, and then moved to Minneapolis. From that union, two boys were born, Brad and Jeff.
In 1993, Dale and Darlene were divorced. Darlene then moved back to Gatzke, bought her birth place land, and was reunited with LeRoy Lian.
Darlene was an accomplished seamstress; she designed and sewed a wedding dress and also several bridesmaid dresses. She inherited her mother’s talent for embroidery and crocheting. Darlene endured many challenges, and she enjoyed learning the technologies, playing cards, and computer games. One of her most enjoyable pastimes was listening to her favorite music – classic country. Darlene and LeRoy had 18 years of many good times – camping, fishing, dancing, and living and working on their “Little House on the Prairie” until LeRoy’s death in 2011.
Darlene is survived by her sons, Bradley (friend Seana Bukowski), Minneapolis, and Jeffrey, Plymouth; sister, Jean (Walt) Patterson; brother, Russell Ruud, St. Paul; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and one aunt, Arlette Ruud.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law, Mervin Roppe; and fiancé and soul mate, LeRoy Lian.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.