Lillian M. Swartout
IRON MOUNTAIN – Lillian Marcella Swartout, 91, of Iron Mountain, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, at ManorCare Health Services in Kingsford.
A long time resident of Iron Mountain, Lillian was born June 30, 1924, and raised on a farm east of Brainerd, Minn., the youngest of 11 children.
In 1942, she married Ernest Swartout, a young man who lived on a neighboring farm. They were married for 60 years until Ernest passed away in 2002.
When Ernest returned from Europe after serving in the Army for three and a half years during World War II, they moved to a small house in Riverton, Minn. They had five sons and lived in Riverton until 1963 when Ernest was transferred to the Groveland Mine near Iron Mountain.
Lillian loved to cook and bake. She regularly baked cakes, pies, rolls, a lot of bread and especially chocolate chip cookies which were much loved by her entire family. As her children grew she took a job at the Dickinson Hotel in Iron Mountain as a baker. She was well known for her pies and would often make 30 to 40 pies for hotel events. She later took a job working in the kitchen at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital.
In 1977, Ernest suffered a traumatic brain injury and was not expected to live. Lillian quit her job and largely through her efforts he recovered. As part of his recovery Lillian took her husband walking every day and for the next 20 years, they walked from the North Side of Iron Mountain to downtown twice daily. Many people still recall them from their daily journeys. She and Ernie also traveled to many part of the United States during those years.
Lillian was an active member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church since 1963. She was involved in many church activities including, Women’s Circle, serving meals at funerals and the quilting program, which she attended for many years during which time she helped to create hundreds of quilts.
Lillian maintained her own home until her most recent illness in May of this year. In the end, her legacy to all of us was a lesson in how to live well and how to die with grace and dignity. She did not fear or fight death, but accepted it as the next step in her journey.
She is survived by her sons and their wives, Jerold (Connie) Swartout and Larry (Joan) Swartout, both of Iron Mountain and Dr. Dennis (Samantha) Swartout of Westmoreland, N.H.; her grandchildren, Robert Swartout, Dan Swartout, Michelle Lantz, Bradley Swartout, Timothy Swartout, Jordan Swartout, Thomas Swartout, Andrew Swartout and Alex Swartout; 15 great-grandchildren including the most recent and her namesake, Lillian Swartout, whom she was able to meet for the first time in July.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two sons, Ronald and Michael; a grandson, Trevor and all of her siblings.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Iron Mountain.
Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. at the church. Rev. Robert Gordon will officiate.
Burial will be in Iron Mountain Cemetery Park. Pallbearers will be her grandsons and great-grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her memory to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.
Condolences to the family of Lillian Swartout may be expressed online at www.ernashfuneralhomes.com
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home with the funeral arrangements.