Cover photo for Shirley R.  Swanson's Obituary
Shirley R.  Swanson Profile Photo
1930 Shirley 2021

Shirley R. Swanson

January 20, 1930 — November 10, 2021

Shirley Rose Schroeder was born January 20, 1930 to William and Rose Schroeder. Shirley passed away on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at Mercy One Medical Center in Sioux City attaining the age of ninety-one years, nine months and twenty-one days. One of three children, she grew up in Manning and graduated from Manning High School in 1948.

She married Richard Arnold Swanson on January 19th, 1951. Ten children were born to that union. The couple lived in Aspinwall for a few years, then on several farms in the Manilla area for a number of years. In 1963 she and Richard built and moved into a new home in Manilla, and she lived there until her passing.

Shirley spent her entire adult life dedicated to her husband, family and faith. In the early family days, they had no indoor plumbing, she cooked meals on a corn cob stove which also heated the house, and she heated water for baths in metal tubs (no water heater). Those issues went away when they moved into the Manilla home, but challenges still existed. She washed clothes for a family of 12 with a washer and a hand cranked wringer, and hung the wash on a clothes line year-round, regardless of weather. She canned several hundred quarts of fruits and vegetables every summer, baked 15 loaves of bread every week, and all this while suffering from anhidrosis - the inability to sweat. Can you imagine the strength it took to work over a hot stove canning food in a non-air-conditioned house on 95-100-degree days, when you can't sweat? There were times Richard would rush her to the hospital to get her cooled down. The next day, she'd be right back at it.

Shirley retained a great sense of humor and a very sharp wit her entire life. She loved to embroider, completing countless projects. She absolutely loved when grandkids and great grandkids would visit. She always hosted events at her home on the 4th of July and Christmas Eve. She was absolutely selfless, and would do without to ensure she had enough money to give all of the grandkids and great grandkids birthday and Christmas gifts.

Shirley LOVED Neil Diamond music, and attended the first of 5 Neil Diamond concerts at the age of 68. Her love of music didn't stop there, as she attended 10 Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts. She also frequently enjoyed listening to Angie's mid 80's rock-in-roll tapes while doing dishes. Shirley was also an ardent Iowa Hawkeye fan and was glued to the TV for every Hawkeye football and basketball game. She was thrilled in 1985 when she and Richard attended the Rose Bowl to watch her beloved Hawkeyes.

Preceded in death by her husband, Richard Swanson; daughter, Wanda Andreasen; parents, William and Rose Schroeder; parents-in-law, Herb and Irene Swanson; brothers, Laverne and Donald Schroeder; sister-in-law, Katherine Schroeder; and daughter-in-law, Julie Swanson.

She is survived by her children, Dennis (Virginia) Swanson of Glenwood, IA, Becky (Roger) Jepsen of Dunlap, IA, Steve (Carol) Swanson of Manilla, IA, Dale Swanson of Manning, IA, Dan Swanson of Manilla, IA, Rod Swanson of Murphy, TX, Duane - aka Arnold (Lisa) Swanson of Council Bluffs, IA, Gerald (Brenda) Swanson of Manilla, IA, and Angie Swanson of Creston, IA; 18 grandchildren; 29 great grandchildren; other relatives and friends.

Visitation is 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 12, 2021 at the Sacred Heart Church in Manilla with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. A private funeral service is 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at Sacred Heart Church in Manilla. Interment is in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Manilla. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.

Masks are highly encouraged by all attendees of Shirley's services.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 12, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Prayer Service

Friday, November 12, 2021

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Private Funeral Service

Saturday, August 5, 2023

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