Kathryn Swedback

Kathryn Swedback

Kathryn Helen Swedback (neé Pfau) of Stillwater, MN, formerly of Fargo, ND, Erhard, MN, and native of Littlefork, MN, passed away unexpectedly on May 27, 2019. She was 83 years old.

Kate was a force in her younger years. She never met a dog she didn’t want to adopt and never blinked twice about taking in a needy soul—family or not. She raised three decent children and delighted in her seven grandchildren and her great-grandson.

She was predeceased by Jim, her high school sweetheart and husband of 52 years, her parents, and her sisters, Phyllis and Patricia. Kate loved her family unconditionally. She remains forever in the hearts of her children, Gary (Irina), Julie (Tom), and Lori (Richard); grandchildren, Ben (Renata), Alison (Carl), Arielle, Sophia, Johnny, Jack, and Sam; and great-grandson, Christopher. She will be missed dearly by sisters, Maxine and Dede, brother, John, many nieces and nephews and special friends.

Kate was an early feminist and persistent supporter of women’s rights. She was a victim advocate and wrote and produced the first newsletter for the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, ND, and later for the Otter Tail County Animal Humane Society. A voracious reader, she recently asked for books written only by women authors. Kate was also a fierce NBA fan (Timberwolves) but disapproved that “another country” was playing in the title game this year.

Kate was not your typical sweet old lady, but no one wished for that. She had a wicked sense of humor, mad gin rummy, hearts, and bridge skills matched only by her Irish luck, and an opinion on just about everything. We will forever hear her famous lines of “everything’s going to be okay,” “because the bear’s behind the bush,” and “this too shall pass.” Her main goal in life was to make memories for her family, and that she did.

Following her instructions, there will not be a funeral. The family will have a private burial this summer. Well-wishers are encouraged to plant something in her memory, contribute to an animal rescue or women’s shelter of your choice, or simply raise a glass (Black Russians were a favorite) and toast to her memory.

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