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Larkin Mortuary

Don Burnhope Swenson

08/04/1931 - 03/25/2020

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Don passed away peacefully on March 25, 2020 in St George, Utah, surrounded by his loving wife and family. Don was the first child born to Don Edwin Swenson and Lucile Burnhope Swenson on August 4, 1931 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Don grew up on the Avenues of Salt Lake and graduated from West High School in 1949. Following the tragic loss of his father at the young age of fifteen, his mother valiantly and lovingly raised he and his 3 younger siblings, imbuing them with resiliency, humility, moral character and a love for life.

Don served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Southwest Indian Mission (1951-1953). Upon his return, he married the love of his life, Nola Ann Rosell, in the Salt Lake Temple, on June 24, 1954. Don was stationed in Germany (1954–1956) during the Korean war, and loved his country. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1958. His degree led him into the field of business, finance and real estate.

Throughout his life he set an example of hard work and understood the importance of a penny saved. But more importantly, he always put people and relationships first. Nothing was more important to Don than how he treated others, making and staying close to friends, and continually learning new things about those in his life. Never one to talk about himself, he took every opportunity to focus on others. He knew the importance of remembering and calling everyone by name.

Throughout his life, Don remained a committed, active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, faithfully serving in many callings. Many great men were blessed in their youth by Don’s selfless dedication to the scouting program. Don and Nola served faithfully in the Palmyra New York Mission, Salt Lake Central City Mission and as patrons in the Bountiful Temple.

Don loved the western way of life and the strong moral values he felt it represented. He certainly knew how to “Cowboy Up!”, and remembered to turn back and help those behind him. He cherished the many horseback rides and pack trips with his family and dear friends well into his 80’s.

Don loved a “project” and made sure there was always one on the calendar for the family at the “Rockin’ Bear Ranch” near Bear Lake; knowing the great lessons that could be taught by working together towards a common goal.

Above all, the most important people to Don were his loving wife and children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He had very personal relationships with each and every one of them, and took every opportunity to reach out to them, and make sure they knew how special they were. His family knew that if they had an important event, he would be there!
He made it clear that his favorite place in this world was where Nola and his family were.

Dad left us with a remarkable legacy and example of a life well lived. It is now our responsibility to keep his legacy alive, and to emulate his example in our lives.

Don is survived by Nola and their children; Michael Don Swenson (Kris), Karen Swenson Whitehead (Kent), Carl Douglas Swenson (Sheri), and Kendall Rosell Swenson, 13 grandchildren, and 35 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters; Carole S. Williams (Lynn), Bernice S. Guertler Gloschat (Joachim), and sister-in-law, Carol Gappmayer Swenson (Brother Claron – Deceased).

A private family graveside service will be held at this time for the immediate family, due to current circumstances. When the situation permits, we will welcome all to attend a celebration of life to honor him.

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  • Awwwww…… very sorry for your loss. We enjoyed getting to know Don and you Nola at Bear Lake for the last….what would it be? Twenty years or something like that. We thought a lot of you two.

    — Don and Bess Huefner

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