May 2, 1926 - September 11, 2015


Donald Swedziak, age 89, passed away Friday, September 11, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital with his family at his side. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Opole, MN on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 10:30AM. Burial will take place in the parish Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church in Opole on Monday, September 14, 2015 from 4PM-7PM and one hour before Mass on Tuesday. Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish prayers will be at 5:00 PM on Monday at the church. Arrangements are being made with the Miller-Carlin Funeral Home, Holdingford, MN.

Donald Martin Swedziak was born in Morrill, MN on May 2, 1926, the fifth of six children born to Joseph and Rose (Ritzko) Swedziak. He grew up on the family farm, attended grade school in a one-room schoolhouse and graduated, Class of 1944, from Foley High School where he played football for the Foley Falcons. He then served with the United States Army before returning to the family farm to work with his father.

He married the love of his life, Bernadette “Betty” Ann Smelter on June 13, 1950 and recently celebrated 65 blessed years of marriage. Two years on the farm, then off to St. Paul, MN where he worked as a butcher before beginning a 36 year career with the Waldorf Paper Company as both a machinist and supervisor of maintenance. Retiring in 1988, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling as snowbirds and his favorite pastime; playing cards. Don was never too far from a cribbage board and would not turn down a game of Texas Hold’em which he played weekly with family and good friends. Don was a member and former trustee of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, St. Michael parish of St. Cloud, the Eagles Club, the Waite Park Silver Star Post 428 American Legion and past member of the Holdingford Sportsman’s Club.

Don is survived by his loving wife Betty and their children; Deb & Joe Rudolph of Rice, Chuck Swedziak of Bowlus and Tammy & Brian Butler of Holdingford, grandchildren; Jeff & Christina Rudolph, Jacki & Trevor Schwab, Jon & Jenny Rudolph, Jenna & Chris Stadther, Jessalyn & Luke Lehner, Danielle & Jared Helget, Travis & Emma Swedziak, Kyle Swedziak, Brian Butler II and Brandan Butler. His great-grandchildren; Zac, Brianna, Peyton, Allison, Lindsey, Jenessa, Jadielyn, Grant, Grace, Oakley, Hazel, Brooke and Taylor will forever remember “Papa Don” and his love for them. He is also survived by his sister Lucille LaGrange of Osseo.

Don’s heart ached at the loss of his three beloved sons Randy, Deryl “Jake,” and Tom “Bombo.” He was also preceded in death by his parents and siblings Louise (Ray) Sauer, Loretta (Rhiny) Winscher, Stella (Burt) Bruneau, his brother David, and brother-in-law Bill Fussy.

Donald, a man of deep faith and integrity will be remembered for his love of God and family, his kindness and generosity and a great and daring sense of humor. His family and friends rejoice in faith that he is now reunited with his sons and his Savior, Jesus Christ.