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Irving Swenson

Irving M. Swenson, 88, Detroit Lakes, died Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, in Diamond Willow Assisted Living under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Irving Mamen Swenson, known as "Swede," was born Sept. 25, 1920, in Minneapolis to Arthur and Evelyn (Mamen) Swenson. He later moved to Holland, Mich., where he was raised and educated. Irving was united in marriage to Margaret Wall on July 11, 1942. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps during WW II and with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. Following his discharge, he was an air traffic controller in Detroit and later was employed as a private corporate pilot for a number of companies including Whirlpool, Schultz & Lindsay Construction and ConAgra. Irving had the distinction of being the first pilot to land a Lear Jet at Hector International Airport in Fargo. Following his retirement, he built a home on Rose Lake near Vergas. Margaret died in 1993. Irving was united in marriage to Darlene Andresen, March 26, 1994, in Detroit Lakes. They lived near Rose Lake, in Naples, Fla., and in Perham prior to moving to Detroit Lakes.

Irving was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Jess-Omundson Post 1676, Veterans Of Foreign Wars in Detroit Lakes. He loved to fly and also enjoyed golf, and living on the lake.

Survivors include his wife, Darlene, Detroit Lakes; four daughters, Janet (John) Franks, Houston, Barbara (Gary) Ware, Detroit Lakes, Sandra (David) Karle, Crosby, Judy (George) Belka, Dilworth; 14 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Helen Swenson, Detroit; a brother-in-law, Cecil Bloedorn, West Point, Neb., and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his first wife, Irving was preceded in death by a brother, Willard, and a sister, Adele Woods.

Funeral services will be Monday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. in Zion Lutheran Church, with Reverend Dan C. Abrahams officiating.

Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.

The David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes is assisting the family. Online registration is available at