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Frances M. Swanson
November 13, 1928 ~ June 12, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Frances Mae Swanson (nee Larkin)
November 13, 1928 – May 31, 2023
Frances Mae Swanson, a longtime Livingston resident, peacefully passed away at home with her family on May 31, 2023, at the age of 94 ½ years after a brief illness. Frances was the eldest child of Charles and Mary Larkin, born on November 13, 1928, in Superior, WI.
She attended local elementary and high schools in Superior at a time when young girls were told they could be nurses, teachers, or housewives. As Frances was in high school during WWII and many naval ships came in and out of the local port, she was encouraged to “just settle down.” As it happened, she met the love of her life, Calvin Andrew Swanson, in late May 1946, on a blind date set up by Fran’s best friend Faye and her boyfriend, Gene, who was Cal’s brother. The chemistry was instant. Cal and Fran and Gene and Faye were married in a double wedding ceremony just six weeks later.
Immediately after their marriage, they began the nomadic life of a military family, first moving to Florida, then to the Mojave Desert, home of the famed “Right Stuff” jet testing program at Muroc AFB (now Edwards AFB) and then to Castle AFB in Merced, California. . Fran with husband Cal Swanson, bought their small farm property in 1955, and with their young sons, tamed a boggy, cottonwood dotted plot into a successful small almond ranch. Along with the orchards, a longstanding family joke was that Fran’s regular hosing down of the back porch cement floor “grew” the many additions made to the homestead. A second-story, arbored patio, pavilion, and wraparound porch grew out of Fran’s diligent watering habit.
The couple remained at Castle until Cal’s retirement in 1968 with only a year’s foreign service assignment in 1953 to Anchorage, Alaska, breaking up their tenure. At the time of Cal’s retirement, Fran, now a mother of two teenagers and three little girls, yearned to expand her horizons. She enrolled in college courses, secured her realtor and then brokers’ licenses, and was a successful real estate professional for many years.
Throughout Fran’s parenting years, she actively supported the children’s activities from Scouts to parent’s club, to catechism teacher to team mom. She put those many organizational skills to use when she became involved with the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans Foreign War, Post 7792 in Winton. In a short time, she rose from member to move through the local leadership ranks, to district chair, and then into the state department offices, ultimately becoming the VFW Auxiliary State President in 1994-95. She remained an active auxiliary member through the early 2000s when she needed to care for Cal who passed in early 2006. Fran fulfilled bucket list goals of traveling to Europe, Hawaii, and throughout the United States, many of those trips accompanied by her daughter Shannon. In the last decade of her life, Fran was surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, enjoying their frequent visits.
Frances’s passing reunited her with her husband Calvin (d. 2006), her beloved youngest daughter Shannon (d. 2020), her brother Kenneth Charles Larkin and mother Mary Nystrom. She leaves behind sons Phillip Swanson (Georgina), Steven Swanson, and daughters Rebecca Swanson and Angela (Paul Peterson) Swanson along with nine grandchildren, Meggan Holzer (Robert) , Amy Hampton (Andy), Caelin Swanson (Vanessa), Cameron Swanson (Amber), Dillon Goodman (Ashley), Grace Tatro (Kevin), Christopher Peterson, Aisling Peterson (Sierra Barton), and J.O. Bradley and seven great grandchildren.
Services will be held at the Shrine ol St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Livingston on Monday, June 12 starting with the rosary at 9:30 and the funeral mass at 10:00. Interment will be at Winton Cemetery with a reception hosted at the Winton VFW Hall immediately thereafter. The family extends an invitation to all who knew Fran to pay your respect by joining us for some or all of the proceedings.
Fran enjoyed flowers and gifts when she was with us. She requested that gifts in her name be made to the fund to build the catholic church in Delhi, California. Donations should be directed to: Saint Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church-Delhi, c/o Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, 530 Franci Street, Livingston, CA 95334.