Laura Emma Ashley Swanson was born July 8, 1992 in Rochester MN and adopted at birth by Gary & Mary Swanson. She died February 20, 2014 in Dayton MN. She grew up in Big Lake, MN and moved with her family to Bemidji in 2002. She attended school at the Alliance Academy in Elk River MN, Heartland Christian Academy in Bemidji and Bemidji High School, where she graduated in 2010. She moved to Minneapolis in 2012 and was last employed at Old Navy.
She competed in spelling bees and also received many Bible memory trophies in elementary grades. She was an avid reader and earned many Book-It pizza certificates. She took skating, swimming and piano lessons at a young age and also learned the violin and guitar. She was on the speech team at BHS, was co-editor for the BHS yearbook her senior year and enjoyed photography. She participated in two musicals and was in the BHS choir for 4 years; singing was her passion.
She attended church at Bemidji Covenant and also Tenstrike Community Church before moving to Minneapolis. She enjoyed youth group and looked forward to Bible camp every summer, where she gave her heart to God.
Friends were very important to her and she loved Christmas shopping for them. She had a great love for animals. She especially liked going to Grandpa's cabin and loved the musty cabin smell, being in the lake and the Saturday and Sunday morning donuts with sprinkles.
She leaves behind her parents, brother David, Grandparents Howard Swanson of Minneapolis and Emily Bruno of Homosassa FL, aunts, uncles and cousins and her dog, Cocoa. Preceded in death by an aunt and maternal grandparents.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, March 1 at 11:00 AM at Bemidji Covenant Church, 5405 Hart Lane NW, Bemidji, 218-751-3699.