Margaret E. Swanson

Apr 19, 2021
Swanson, Mary E. Crop


A public Celebration of Life Service will be later this summer.



Family graveside services have been held in the Memorial Park Cemetery, Waterloo, Iowa.


Memorials may be made to Cedar Valley Hospice and St. Paul's Lutheran School in Waverly, Iowa.


Margaret Esther Swanson, a 57-year resident of Waverly, loving and beloved wife, and adored mother of two, grandmother of one, passed away Monday, April 19 of natural causes, aged 87.

Margaret was born in Bennington Township, north of Waterloo, Iowa on March 26, 1934. She was the fourth child of six to Mabel E. (Bartels) and Wilhelm O. Mixdorf. She was the last to be born on the farm before the family moved to Waterloo where William worked for John Deere. Raised in Waterloo, Margaret graduated from West High School.

Margaret was a candy girl at the Strand Theater in downtown Waterloo in her teen years. She also worked for the phone company as a switchboard operator and Rath Packing in Waterloo as a secretary.  She was a lifelong member of the Lutheran church and moved with her oldest sister Mary Lou to Omaha, Nebraska to serve the Church. Margaret as the secretary to Dr. C.H. Zeidler, president of the Central States Synod, United Lutheran Church of America, and Mary Lou as a parish administrator at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Margaret and Glen met on a blind date & her devotion to Glen culminated in their marriage on January 14, 1956 when Glen was on leave from active duty in the U.S. Army.  Glen was an artist and graduated with a Masters Degree from UNI and pursued a career in teaching art at the grade school level. While on his first assignment in Hampton, Iowa, a family was begun with the birth of son Paul Klee in 1961. The family landed in Waverly in 1964 where daughter Ann was born in 1965.  Glen was the Art teacher for the WSR grade schools.  Margaret was a secretary at Wartburg in the offices of the Dean of Education & college President.  Margaret was very active at Wartburg.  She was sought after for her typing skills and typed numerous papers and dissertations for students in the community. She was a member of Wartburg Women & loved to bake cakes for students birthdays and also served on the board of the Wartburg Community Symphony.  She helped coordinate fundraisers & also co -authored one of the Symphony cookbooks.  

Margaret was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother.  She doted on her children and supported them through their growing years. Her health-based cooking was a boon to the Swanson family both at home and on picnic outings. Her love and appreciation of nature--especially birds and flowers--melded with family canoe trips and camping at the family log cabin that Glen restored with her support. A cardinal or loon sighting and the beauty of an orchid would bring a warming smile to her face.

She was active at St. Paul's Lutheran Church where she was a member of the handbell and senior choir and co-coordinated volunteer activities.  She was known for her scrumptious coffee cakes that she would gift to the pastors and others at church.  Margaret found a partnership with Glen on a creative level by making macramé hangers and accessories that melded with pottery Glen created. One of her trademarks was the hanging planter, a pleasing synergy of Glen's pottery and her jute macramé. Together they showed and sold their works at various Midwest Art shows and the Wartburg Homecoming Renaissance Faire. She also created one of a kind latch hook rugs, pillows & wall hangings as well as cross stitching and knitting.  Margaret was very musical with a beautiful alto voice and talent of playing the piano & harpsichord that was built by both her & Glen.

Margaret's strong faith in God and her love helped power her care for Glen after he suffered a stroke in 1984. Glen and Margaret enjoyed traveling when they could, visiting relatives and vacation locales. Margaret was a resident at Bartels Lutheran Home after 2013, where she enjoyed fellowship with longtime friends from the community. She enjoyed decorating her year-round Christmas tree with festoons befitting the seasons and served on the planning committee of the annual Mixdorf family reunion held at Bartels. She enjoyed cards, art projects, and reading books and letters from family and friends.

Her love is never-ending, her empathy ever energetic. Margaret is survived by one son, Paul of Janesville, Wisconsin; one daughter, Ann of Plainfield; one grandchild, Alyssa also of Plainfield; one sister, Ruth White; one brother, Frank Mixdorf; and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents; brother Bill Mixdorf; and sisters Mary Lou Blobaum and Marlys Melsted.

"Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:11.



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