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1924 - 2018
Bette Darlene Swenson Together Again Age 94, died peacefully on May 30th, 2018 at her adult care home in Bothell, WA. Born on April 3, 1924 to Odean and Mildred (Quimby) Jerlow in Huron, South Dakota, she lived and worked on the family farm with her three younger brothers near Carthage. After high school graduation she attended college briefly in Estherville, Iowa. Bette later moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where she worked in a munitions factory supporting the war effort. It was here she met her future husband, Chester Swenson, after his discharge as a pilot from the Army Air Corps. They married in October of 1945 and were together for 65 years until his passing in 2010. Chet was hired by Northwest Airlines in 1945 and moving the family every few years soon became a way of life. Chet was based in St. Paul, Seattle, Spokane, and Seattle once again. The family moved to Tacoma in 1961 and soon became involved with the Fircrest Golf Club and Fircrest Swim Team. Although Bette had her hands full raising three boys while her husband was often away on long trips, she still found time to chaperone for the Daffodil Festival and loved taking "her girls" around Tacoma for their appearances. A fantastic cook, she loved cooking for her sons and their friends from the neighborhood, sports teammates and fraternity brothers. When the boys were grown and gone she turned her culinary skills to the grandkids with sumptuous main dishes, casseroles, cakes and pies. Shortly after Chet retired, they bought a seaworthy trawler, christened her the Option B, and enjoyed cruising Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands with family and friends. In her later years she and Chet enjoyed many winters in the Arizona sun. Bette had a wonderful sweet nature, a caring disposition, and a positive attitude. Her tough South Dakota roots and deep faith enabled her to survive three bouts of cancer over the years. She will be greatly missed by friends and family in Minnesota, South Dakota, Washington and Arizona. She is survived by her sons Gary (Sally), Craig, Dave (Jill) and grandchildren: Jamie, Sam, Davy (Jake) Goetze, Brooke, Heather (Trevor) Uhler and Luke, and eight great grandchildren. A special thank you to Blueberry Gardens Senior Care of Bothell who provided superb care and friendship to Bette for the past five and a half years. No service is planned at this time.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on June 10, 2018
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