Floral 14
Official Obituary of

Ruth (Putnam) Swenson

February 26, 1941 ~ February 13, 2024 (age 82) 82 Years Old

Ruth Swenson Obituary

Ruth Putnam Swenson was born February 26, 1941, to Euvern Frank and Ruth Alice Putnam at home in Auburn, Wyoming. She is the youngest of twelve children. She was raised on the family farm in Auburn. Before she started public school, she would occasionally accompany her father on the trap line. She learned how to skin and stretch beaver pelts from her father. She was taught from a young age about animals from her father and grew to love animals. She told us that at one point they had a pet deer. Her best friend and sidekick as a child, was her dog Shorty. When she was eight years old, she was riding her bike and crashed. She broke her leg and had to be in traction for 30 days. She had her knee pinned and had a big indention in it. As children we would ask if we could put our finger in it.

She attended school in Auburn until she was high school age when she transferred to Afton for school. No one messed with mom. She was small but feisty. She played catcher in fast pitch softball and was known to hit home runs. From the time she was a freshman in high school, she had to get up before school to milk cows, by hand. Mom helped haul hay. Her brothers would put the hay up on the wagon and it was her job to stack it. She could lift a bale in each hand. She had well defined back and arm muscles.

Mom had a love for music. She was always singing or humming. She participated in choirs and operettas in high school. She and dad have sung at many funerals and in church. She has sung in all the various locations that they have lived throughout the years.

After graduating from high school, she worked at Fred’s Café in Afton. My dad’s older brother Eldon told dad that he should ask mom on a date. There was going to be a dance at the Valley-On. Mom loved to dance. Dad went and watched her all night. He finally got up enough nerve to ask her to dance and they danced the last two dances. He asked her if he could take her home and she told him no. She explained that she had her mom with her and needed to drive her home. Grandma didn’t drive so mom would drive her and grandma was a chaperone. He asked her for a date for New Year’s Eve. She said yes and they went to the movie The Big Gun. After the movie they took the back road to Auburn. At that time, the road was dirt. There was thick fog, and it was -40. Due to the fog dad didn’t see the end of the road and ran through the T intersection and into the snowbank. They were stuck. They walked to her house and had to wake grandpa up. He tried to pull them back on with no success. He drove dad home and dropped him off. The rest is history. They were married February 20, 1960, at the old Auburn Church. They were sealed on July 6, 1962, in the Idaho Falls Temple.

To their union they had fourteen children. They lived in Laramie, Albany, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, and Star Valley. They moved home to Star Valley in January of 1974.

She was primarily a homemaker. She went to work when James was finally in school. She was the Meals on Wheels bus driver. She loved taking the Senior Citizens on outings. She got to see Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot. She was also a cook at the Senior Citizen’s Center, Afton Elementary School, and Star Valley Medical Center. She retired when dad retired.

Mom was a great cook and baker. She made the best homemade bread. Nothing like coming home to the smell of fresh baked bread, hot with melted butter. When most of us were at home she made twenty loaves of bread a week. She made delicious donuts and pies.

Mom was a great seamstress. She made multiple wedding dresses, prom dresses, baby blessing dresses for most of her granddaughters and great granddaughters. She made baby blankets for all her grandkids. She also made beautiful quilts for her children as they were married, each had the names and wedding date embroidered on them. She upholstered furniture for herself and others. She was incredibly talented. She even redid the car seats and door panels in Frank Brog’s Mercedes in cream colored leather.

She was a hard worker. She never sat. She changed sprinkler pipes, picked worms, milked our cow, hauled hay, picked rocks on the church farm, and was still getting firewood last fall.

Her and dad were such amazing supporters of their children and grandchildren. They would go to every event they could make work. They have traveled for graduations, priesthood ordinations, weddings, baby blessings, sports activities, music concerts, and plays.

She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had many callings in the church. In 2006 Mom and Dad served a mission to the Philippines. They served for 5 months before coming home due to mom’s health issues. She struggled with depression off and on from that time forward. She was an angel on earth. She touched many lives.

She passed away on February 13, 2024, in a house fire. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Val Swenson. Her children: Crystal, Kelly (Gary), Gina (Dave), Valdee (Marge), Nicole (Thoney), Natalie (James), Chantell, Alison (Steve), Rendall (Jeri), Cynthia (Jared), Mitchell (Mariana), Vanessa, Gavin (Chandra), James (Monika), 76 grandchildren, 67 great grandchildren, and her sister Sylvia Pead. She is proceeded in death by her parents, ten siblings, a granddaughter, Brittany, and grandson, Mikey, and a son-in-law, Michael.

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February 18, 2024

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Schwab Mortuary and Crematory
44 East 4th Ave.
Afton, WY 83110

February 19, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:45 AM
Osmond LDS Chapel
3166 WY-241
Afton, WY 83110

Funeral Service
February 19, 2024

12:00 PM
Osmond LDS Chapel
3166 WY-241
Afton, WY 83110

Interment following funeral service
February 19, 2024

Auburn Cemetery

Auburn, WY 83111


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