Arlene May McGillivray Swanson passed away peacefully on October 23, 2023, at her home in Brainerd. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday November 2, 2023, at 11:30am at the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in Baxter, MN. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the start of the service. Lunch will be served following the service. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.
Arlene was born on September 7, 1936, in Staples, MN to Archie and Viola McGillivray.
She grew up in Staples and married Gilbert Bartylla and went on to have 7 children together.
Arlene married Sherman Swanson in 1979. They made their home in Brainerd and lived on Lake Edward in Arlene’s dream home, which Sherman built, for many years.
Many years later, Arlene attended the Brainerd Vocational School and eventually got a job as Administrator for the Brainerd Bricklayers Union. Arlene was involved in the Paul Bunyan Soakers camping group for over 10 years. Arlene and Sherman traveled around the state selling their wood art.
Arlene and Sherman were certified in Foster Care through Crow Wing County. They had over 40 children in their home over 12 plus years. After retirement, they traveled around and went coast to coast.
She will be dearly missed by Sherman, her husband of 44 years, children Deb (Al) Steffen, Sherry Bartylla, James Bartylla, Susan Renfrow, Bruce Bartylla, Teresa (Tracy) Wetzstein, Scott (Mona) Bartylla, DeAnne Churchill, Sue (Tony) Roberts, brother Jack McGillivray, 18 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 6 great, great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandchildren Jenna, Ryan, and Bret, sister in-law Bea McGillivray, son’s in-law Mark Renfrow and Gary Bollum.
We want to thank Good Samaritan Hospice and Home Instead Home Care for the excellent care mom received.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Baxter.