Velrene Swanger

Friday, June 18, 2010

Velrene Swanger, age 87, of rural Cleghorn, passed away Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center, surrounded by her family. She had been a resident of Cherokee County since 1943.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee. Father Armand Bertrand will officiate. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. today with the family present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at Greenwood Funeral Home in Cherokee. There will be a prayer service starting at 7 p.m. tonight at Greenwood Funeral Home. Burial will be in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Anthon. Online condolences may be sent to

Velrene, the daughter of A.J. and Mary (McDermott) King, was born Aug. 5, 1922 in Anthon. She received her education in Anthon and Kingsley. After school she worked for Cudahy Packing Plant in Sioux City for six years before moving to the Cherokee area.

On March 6, 1947, she and Robert were united in marriage at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee. The two of them farmed in the Larrabee and Quimby areas before moving to rural Cleghorn. Over the years Velrene worked in Al Swanson's stores in Cherokee and Aurelia; the Farmer's Produce and Hartley Creamery; she was a cook at Meriden-Cleghorn school; along with the family businesses -- the milking and trucking operations. She also had an exceptional talent for cooking, though she never gave herself credit. She enjoyed crocheting, dancing, cooking, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, and visiting with family, friends and neighbors.

She had been a member of Visitation Parish at Maryhill until a storm demolished it in August 2006 and is now a member of the Immaculate Conception in Cherokee.

She was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and will be truly missed but will be lovingly remembered.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bob; a grandson and his wife, Troy and Jennifer Gray; a great-grandson, Michael Gray; six brothers, Ed, Lawrence, Allen, Joe, Paul, and Bill; and three sisters, Marie McNear, Agnes Sawin, and Ann Wright.

She will be lovingly remembered by close family members who include: a daughter, Roberta (Dennis) Twining of Sioux City; a son, Bob (Gloria) Swanger of Cleghorn and their daughter Mandy (Jarow) Hirschman of Paullina; a great-grandson, T.J. Gray of Thornton, Colo.; her sister, Jerry (Bill) Foley of Quimby; sister-in-laws, Lucille King and Esther Utesch; and many nieces and nephews.