Swanhild (Swanee) Tverberg Thompson, 94, died Dec. 15 of a stroke.
She was born in Ft. Dauphin, Madagascar, to missionary parents. Her father, Svein Stefen Tverberg; her husband of 61 years, Conrad M. Thompson; her sons, Mervin, Mark and Nathan; and now, her grandson Zachary, all either were or are Lutheran pastors.
She had been a longtime St. Anthony Park resident.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, the day after what would have been her 95th birthday, in the Lyngblomsten Chapel, 1415 Almond Ave.
After Swanee graduated from St. Olaf College and married Conrad, she began the work of raising four children, managing a full household and contributing within the community. Conrad credited her vital role at home as the foundation for his ministry within the church. She served as a 4-H leader and taught Sunday school at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church.
Together, in their mid-20s, Swanee wrote the words and Connie wrote the music for the choral piece, “Christmas Lullaby,” which is still sung today.
Swanee invested many hours in her Norwegian embroidery Hardangersom, earning purple ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair and teaching the craft in Burnsville, Minn., and in Mesa, Ariz., where she and Connie spent winter months post-retirement. Prior to their years of wintering in Mesa, they traveled across the U.S. on behalf of the radio ministry Lutheran Vespers and led tours to Scandinavia, Israel-Palestine, New Zealand and Australia.
Eleven years ago, she moved to Lyngblomsten in Como Park, where she lived independently surrounded by all things Malagasy and Norwegian, and later, moved to the Dorothea Neighborhood at the care center. The family will be eternally grateful to terrific staff and caregivers, especially to Marcy Frye, who gave her so much love. Her mind was clear until the end, and what a gift that was. She was “Clearing House Central” for the entire family. She was a voracious reader who loved keeping up with the news of the world. As her body grew weaker, she said that as long as she could still read she was all right. Swanee will be terribly missed by her children, Mervin (Jackie Morstad), Beverly (Roe) Hatlen, Mark (Marjore Williams) and Nathan (Kim Morris); 10 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; sister, Dagny Lerseth; and sisters-in-law, Laurie Tverberg and Donna Tverberg. The Tverberg-Thompson family continues to help with the crucial work needed in Madagascar. Memorials may be sent to Global Health Ministries, c/o the Svein and Elise Tverberg Fund—AVIA, 7831 N.E. Hickory St., Minneapolis, MN 55432.