Akkerman-Ingebrand • Mora, MN

Rock-Ingebrand • Braham, MN

Mora, MN • 320-679-1933

Braham, MN • 320-396-2121



Dale Swenson, of Braham, passed away on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay.  He was 71 years old.

FUNERAL SERVICE will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Braham Covenant Church with Pastor Gary Shaw officiating.

VISITATION will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.

INTERMENT will be in the Stanchfield Baptist Cemetery.

Dale Melvin Swenson peacefully passed away on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Veterans Home in Silver Bay, Minnesota surrounded by his loving wife, Helen of 50 years of marriage. He was 71 years, 7 months, and 24 days old.

Dale was the first born son of Melvin and Norma (Smith) Swenson of Grasston. Dale was born on February 10, 1946 at the Kanabec County Hospital in Mora, Minnesota. He lived with his family on a farm west of Grasston. As an infant he was baptized at the Hope Lutheran Church in Grasston, MN. Dale attended first through sixth grades at Grasston, then grades seven through twelfth at the Braham High School. During high school, Dale assisted the caretaker at the Grasston Union Cemetery with mowing, upkeep and grave digging. Dale was also active with the Grasston Boy Scouts. Dale worked for the Cambridge Star newspaper and continued his education through the State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry in the Industrial Journalism field.

Dale was united in marriage to Helen Alice Bouska from Henriette on June 3, 1967 at the Grasston Lutheran Church. Together they made their home on a farm west of Grasston. Dale entered the Army in February of 1968 and Helen continued to live on the farm until Dale returned home. Dale and Helen adopted a daughter, Shari Kay Swenson and together they lived west of Grasston until April of 1977 when they purchased a home in Braham, and have continued to live in Braham.

When Dale returned from this military tour overseas in Korea, he returned to work at the Cambridge Star newspaper. Later, Dale started Swenson Photography, and together with Helen, they had numerous opportunities to meet new friends. In 1978 Dale joined the Braham Ambulance Staff, which later became Allina Transportation of Cambridge, and worked there for 25 years. He also was a deputy coroner for Isanti and Mille Lacs Counties until he retired in 2009.

Dale’s love for the wilderness brought him camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the summers and cross country skiing with Helen at the Bearskin Lodge northwest of Grand Marais during the winters. Dale enjoyed the outdoors with his camera, patiently waiting for a perfect sunrise or sunset. Dale enjoyed reading and acquired a library of interesting books as well as artifacts from the Grasston community. He enjoyed visiting folks, exchanging numerous stories of past events, and remembering Helen with flowers.

Dale was a lifetime member of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Isanti County, the Braham VFW, and the Disabled American Veterans. He was also active with the Pine County Historical Society, and a member of the Friendship Assembly of God Church in Braham. Dale loved to travel as time and work schedules permitted. Dale entered the St. Cloud Medical Center in February of 2010 and was able to return home with Helen in July of 2010. Dale lived in Braham until November 16, 2011 when his declining health forced him to seek fulltime care in a veteran’s home. On August 9, 2012, Dale was transfer to the Veterans Home in Silver Bay were he enjoyed the scenic and calming views.

Dale is preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Clara Bicking.

Dale is survived by his loving wife Helen; daughter Shari Kay Swenson; granddaughter Kama Margaret Swenson; brother Dean (Cordia) Swenson, nieces Melissa DuChene, Heidi Westfall, Amanda Swenson, and Lorelei Fenley and their spouses and children; nephews Gary, Loren, Rick, and David Bicking and their spouses and children; brother-in-law Charles (Mary) Bouska; numerous other relatives and friends.

29 thoughts on “DALE M. SWENSON”

  1. Chuck and I send our deepest sympathy to you and your family. May you find comfort in all of the memories you made with Dale.

  2. I am sorry to,hear of Dales death. He was always a kind and helpful person. My condolences to the family.

  3. Dale was an amazing man. I will never forget getting my first “real” school picture done and how he had combs for everyone there. How he would encourage a smile from the nervous me throughout the years – year after year – how he would always make me laugh through Kindergarten all way to Sr. High. Through those school pictures, and activity photos – He captured moments that are now memories to me. What a gift.
    He was always an encouragement, even when the unthinkable happened and he was the first on a painful scene, wearing his ambulance attire instead of a camera. He was solid and comforting.
    I know that right now he is taking in the amazing beauty of what Heaven is, appreciating the sounds and sights of that glorious place and I look forward to someday rejoicing with him there.
    To you, his Family, I am so very sorry for your loss and will be praying that you are sustained through The Lord’s never ending love and as you hear the of the endlessly wonderful ways that Dale touched the hearts of many that you will be blessed by the wonderful legacy he built through his life and his love of The Lord. He touched so many lives – and mine was one of them.

    In His Love,
    Jenni (Tragethon) Thyng

  4. Helen, We are comforted with the knowledge that Dale is once again healthy and happy. But we will miss him and our trips to visit you both. Look forward to celebrating his life with you on Saturday.

  5. Helen and Shari, sorry to hear of Dale’s passing. What memories I have of Dale and his photography, his military service, his canoe trips and camping/skiing adventures! He had a story for every occasion and for every activity. We worked together for several years, quite long ago, putting together and creating the Braham sports calendar and the sports pocket schedule, which live to this day! Dale, may you rest in peace!

  6. Helen…So sorry to hear about Dale’s passing away. Hugs and thoughts are with you and Sheri.

  7. Helen and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember job shadowing with you and Dale to several weddings after he had done my senior pictures. He was a wonderful man and I always enjoyed my time with you both.

    Deepest sympathies,
    Robin (Vork) Washburn

  8. Helen and family, I am so deeply sorry for the passing of Dale. What a heart full of beautiful memories that you have to treasure now. I will pray God grants you much peace during this time, and for your future. I am so glad I got to talk with you recently. God’s blessings on you. Jackie and Dave Harrison

  9. So sorry to hear of Dale’ s passing. He will be greatly missed.
    First memory of Dale is of a trip to “Boundary Waters.” Next was my senior pictures, then my wedding (30 years ago.) Next he was taking school pictures of my children. I will always treasure them. Wish we could be there for you both.

  10. Helen, Eileen and I are so sorry to hear of Dale’s passing. I remember so vividly when Dale and I met on the sidewalk on the military base in Seoul Korea. We passed each other and both turned around at the same time and said “I know you”. From that moment on, Dale was someone who brought a touch of home to a very far away place. I remember him many times calling me and letting me know he had received a “care package” from you and wanted me to come to his barracks room and share in the cookies and various treats packed in popcorn you had sent to him. That was such a special time. Then there were the times back home in Braham when we would get together for a short visit when Dianne and I were able to be back home to Minnesota. I could go on and on about how much you and Dale influenced my life but will finish by saying, Dale is now with his Lord and Savior and some day you and Dale will be reunited in Heaven. God bless you Helen as you grieve his loss and continue to serve Him.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. Dale was a sweet guy with a wonderful smile. Sending hugs to you Helen God bless.

  12. Helen, it was an honor to be part of Dale’s care team at the Veteran’s Home. His bright blue eyes and your smiles and generous spirit will be missed on Evergreen. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Julie

  13. Helen, even though we didn’t meet Dale and you until later in his life, you were such a special couple and touched so many lives. Our family (Vet’s Home) is thinking of you at this time. Sending lots of hugs your way.

  14. Helen and family-
    Sorry to hear about Dale’s passing. I was privileged to have worked with Dale for many years on the ambulance. Very nice person.

  15. So sorry, Helen, to see that Dale has passed. He was a precious man and we are grateful that we had a chance to meet him. We are so thankful for the Hope we have in Jesus and that we will all be joined together that Glorious Day! Thinking and praying for you.

  16. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family, in the passing of Dale. We know he is resting in peace now in the arms of our Lord and Savior. I always enjoyed having conversations with Dale, he had a special way with words and a wonderful smile.

  17. I am so blessed to hear about how my Dad touched the lives of others. Thank you all for sharing.

    My Dad was the kindest most gentle man I ever knew, he truly loved unconditionally. Those qualities shone through in the many pictures he took while enjoying God’s magnificent creation. I would love for the whole world to see his beautiful photographs; I used to dream of opening a gallery with him. He loved people and never spoke negatively of anyone. What a great example he set for me and for those around him. I rarely saw him without a smile.

    He taught me how to navigate by putting me in the middle of the wilderness, in the middle of a lake with a map and a compass and said, “Now you find our way back.” That lesson and many more are part of me as I navigate all over the country and the world, helping “the least of these” to show them the kindness and love that he taught me.

    My Dad gave me my name, and I am quite sure he spelled it my special way (to match Shari’s Candies” I am convinced, it was because of his SWEET tooth! I pray they have his ice-cream bars in heaven!

    I miss my Dad, I have missed him for a long time, but I am comforted knowing that I will see him again in Glory with our God and Savior. I am thankful that he no longer suffers on this earth, and I can almost hear him now, telling his stories in heaven. And I see his kindness and compassion living on in my daughter. They may not have known each other very well, but they have the same heart and love for people.

    He called me His Sunshine, and now he is mine.
    I love you forever and always Daddy,
    Your Shari Kay


    Today I learned I lost my grandfather. It doesn’t seem like I should be this sad since I didn’t know him that well. I wish I could have known him better, but I heard many good things about him. That he was a kind hearted man that would not try to hurt anything or anyone. He is the one I got my passion for photography from. I wish he could have taught me all he knew about photography. He took so many great pictures and he used to be an EMT and help people when my mom was younger. He put others before himself and always helped those in need.

    I have lost people before and it really hurt, but I have not gone through that in a while and I feel this hole inside me like I can’t move or speak or breath. The worst thing is that I feel like I would have loved him so much more if I had gotten to know him better. I miss him so much and I know that he is in heaven right now, looking down on me and taking care of me.

    You are forever in my heart grandpa,
    Love Kama

  18. It saddens me to learn of your loss. He was always so nice to me, helpful, encouraging, and fun to visit with. If I recall, he lived the boundary Waters canoe area. He was passionate about that. Your all in our prayers.

  19. Helen and Shari-
    I’m so sorry for your loss. He touched so many lives, whether through his photography or EMT work and many other things he did for communities. I do remember his smile and passion for photography and the outdoors.

  20. Dear Helen & Shari,
    We are saddened to hear of Dale’s death. We were not aware that he was having heath issues over the past serveral years. We are so sorry!

    Some years ago we tried to make contact with you (Helen) and Dale but we were unsuccessful. We remember with fondness our early youth-leader days and especially the hay rides, visiting in your home when we were in the area, our wedding, and other weddings that you worked. Those are good memories.

    Our spirits echo to yours and send you peace and blessing!

    Butch and Lynn Lewellin

  21. Helen..Dale will be missed by so many(as will you..with your warm smile and personality)!! Thank-you so much for sharing Dale with us for the last few years!!There will always be a spot on heart for Dale!! Rest in paradise Smirky!!
    With love from the Dingbat!!

  22. Helen and Shari,

    Dale was one of the two scoutmasters when I was in Boy Scouts years and years ago. Memories include a week or so canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters, camping in the scenic Snake River headwaters and a Jamboree weekend east of Grasston near the river landing. No doubt these experiences helped kindle my interest in the Great Outdoors with a passion for road trips, state and national parks. I’ve gone backpacking with friends in Glacier National Park, along the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, across the Central Cascades in Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Porcupine Mountains State Park in Upper Michigan, on the beach in Olympic National Park and road trips here and there – and now that I am retired, I look forward to more of the same!

    Additionally, his great-grandfather Peter Anderson (buried in Grasston Union Cemetery) and my great-great-grandfather Olof/Olaf/Ole (buried in Grass Lake Mission Cemetery) are brothers.

    Somehow I don’t think he minds the mosquitos where he is now.

    With love and condolences.

  23. Helen, I heard the news and just want you to know what a pleasure it was to work with you and sweet Dale. Peace and blessings to you.

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