American Veteran 01

Peggy Margaret Ann (MacDonald) Swanson

October 18, 1923 ~ June 16, 2020 (age 96)


Peggy (Margaret) MacDonald Swanson was born October 18, 1923 in Woburn, MA. Her family includes husband, Phil (deceased 2008); daughter, Lin Standke; son Steve Swanson and wife, Mary Tarbell; grandson Dan Swanson and wife Heesuk Chae; and granddaughter, Loah; son Scott Swanson and wife, Milvia Swanson.

Peggy spent her youth in several eastern states before moving to Minnesota in the 1930s. She was very proud to serve her country during WWII, initially bucking rivets at the Glen L. Martin aircraft factory outside of Baltimore, MD.  Her petite stature allowed her to fit inside the wings of the B-26 Marauder and other planes on the assembly line.  Yes, Peggy was a real “Rosie the Riveter!”  In 1944 she enlisted and was sent to basic training at Des Moines, IA and after graduation joined the Army Airways Communications Service.  She served in Oklahoma, Washington DC (At what is now Reagan Airport, in the original terminal building!), England and France. Her service included a stint in London where she survived frequent air raids. Although times were tough, her fond memory was seeing the Queen and getting "good close up pictures." She was discharged honorably at the end of the war.

Peggy met Phil at a wiener roast in Excelsior, MN. Their wedding and life start was loving and fun in spite of limited resources post WWII. They eventually built a house in Minnetonka, MN. Both Peggy and Phil contributed much of the labor themselves. They enjoyed many years of cookouts, parties, and holiday gatherings with children Lin, Steve and Scott, and numerous relatives, neighbors and friends before retiring to a senior apartment in Chanhassen, MN.

Peggy and Phil traveled to Hawaii every January for 20 years, enjoying a month on the beach at the Hale Koa, a military hotel on Waikiki.

While visiting daughter Lin in Alaska, they loved staying at a B&B run by Iditarod mushers and taking a ride in her plane to get a close up look at glaciers.

Many road trips were taken to Champaign Urbana, IL when Steve and Mary were in grad school and raising beloved grandson, Dan. Peggy took bragging rights on teaching Dan how to play cards and board games. Steve’s family moved to Indianapolis for his job and Lin moved to Madison, WI making her road trip a “family 2-fer visit.”

Peg and Phil traveled to Belgium to visit Steve and family when he was transferred for a work assignment. Peggy  said that the shopping was fun and “Phil liked the beer." They also took a trip to London to see how much it had changed since WWII.

Both Peg and Phil were especially proud of son Scott's military service and traveled to see him in several states, including helping repair his house after  hurricane Opal  in Florida and making curtains for his home in California. Both sites gave her many opportunities to eat shrimp, her favorite food.

Peggy lovingly cared for Phil until his death in 2008 and eventually moved to Indianapolis to be near Steve and Mary.

Peggy will be interned next to Phil in Ft. Snelling national cemetery with a family service once COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association,


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Alzheimer's Association
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