Ellen Swanson passed away peacefully into her heavenly home on February 18, 2021, at the age of 100. Ellen was born in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to Paul and Ethel Cribbs. After losing her parents as a teenager, she was taken in by family friends, Jennie and Walter Parkison, who raised her lovingly along with their own daughters Jeanne and Lea. The three women remained close all their lives, which was a great blessing to Ellen.
Ellen graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Elementary Education, teaching in Colorado Springs for three years. She desired a change, and came to California in 1946 to teach in Turlock. There she met Don Swanson, a handsome postal clerk who waited on her when she picked up a package. They were married on August 6, 1949 and spent 51 happy years together. They raised three children, Don Jr., Bill, and Karen. Ellen enjoyed being a busy homemaker for several years. She returned to teaching when her children were in junior high and elementary school, initially as a third grade teacher and later as a reading specialist in the Turlock school district.
Ellen was an avid reader and always loved to have her nose in several books at the same time. She was also a faithful Bible scholar and prayer warrior. Her Christian faith was very important to her, and she kept several prayer notebooks from which she prayed daily for her family, as well as numerous people and organizations. She and Don were faithful members of Turlock Covenant Church (now Hope Church) where she served on the church council, taught Sunday school, was church librarian, and sang in the choir.
She served on the Turlock Library Board, was a member of Tuesday Reading Club, the American Association of University Women, and volunteered at Emanuel Hospital. After retirement, she enjoyed traveling with her husband. They visited every state in the U.S., as well as Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Canada, and the Caribbean. She was a doting grandmother who loved baking with her grandchildren, playing board games and dress up, and taking them to lunch. She was so proud to share in their special events and watch them grow into accomplished adults.
Ellen was predeceased by her husband, Don. She is survived by her children Don Swanson Jr. (Mary) of Turlock, Bill Swanson (Anne) of Fair Oaks, and Karen Stevens (Ted) of Turlock; grandchildren Kelsey Larson (Brent), Lesley Holmes (Alex), Donnie Swanson, April Stevens (Carey Macy), Cameron Stevens (Kody), and Robyn Stevens; great-grandchildren Linnea, William, and Anneliese Larson, Seraphina and Alexander Holmes, and Meyer and Davis Stevens.
A visitation will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. The graveside service will follow at 10:00 a.m. at Turlock Memorial Park. Following the burial, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Hope Church, 316 S. Laurel St., Turlock.
Memorial donations can be made to Hope Church, 316 S. Laurel St., Turlock, CA 95380, or Friends of the Turlock Library, P.O. Box 1260, Turlock, CA 95381.