Marguerite MIDGE Jeanne Sweley

June 22, 1945 ~ November 12, 2017 (age 72)


Midge Sweley was born June 22, 1945 in Milwaukee, WI. She passed away peacefully on November 12, 2017 at the age of 72 in Yakima, WA from Alzheimer’s. She was preceded in death by her husband Merrill H. Sweley and her parents Alvin and Meta Luetzow. She is survived by her daughter Wendy Keller, her son-in-law Mark Keller, and her grandchildren Eva, Jonas, Annika, and Lisel. She is also survived by her sister Kristine Philmlee (Jim), her niece Tara Atwood, her great-nephew Christopher Perkins Jr., and great-niece Zoey Persons. Midge graduated from Highline High School in 1963. She valued her high school classmates and made it a priority to help with and attend their reunions. She met her husband, Merrill, at Atonement Lutheran Church and they were married April 4, 1964. She was committed to her faith and loved being a member of her church. She served in many ways - altar guild, choir member, Sunday School teacher, and skit member on talent night. Midge was always creating and ready for fun. During her early married years, she was a member of the Des Moines Garden Club and even had a Japanese floral arrangement pseudonym, Mariko. She was a talented seamstress and sewed a variety of things from coats to curtains. Her family lovingly called her Make-Do-Midge because of her joy in scrapping things together when she found she didn’t have what was necessary to complete a project or recipe. Some of her substitutions were exceptional. Her love of beauty and design led her to pursue a degree in Interior Design at Highline Community College. Upon graduation she opened her own Interior Design business which she worked at until a few years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She and Merrill built a cabin in Packwood together which they shared with friends and family. She enjoyed the outdoors and took up elk hunting with her husband. She had a love/hate relationship with skiing. Midge often drove the neighborhood kids to Steel Lake during the summer for a swim and a picnic. Her love of family compelled her to host countless holidays, travel to Nebraska and Wisconsin to visit relatives, and spend many hours researching her family’s genealogy. She loved to play cards and frequently had friends and family over for a game and a rhubarb custard pie made with a goose egg. She was a superb grandmother and played with her grandchildren often. She taught all her grandkids early to drink from a straw as well as to blow their noses. She felt a coat was mandatory in order to exit the house, and made sure that her daughter and grandkids were impressed with the importance of being prepared for the cold. Her commitment to stay with Wendy and Mark for the first week each time a baby was born was always a sweet time of rest and celebration. She was phenomenal with infants. Midge delighted in snow and often pulled a chair up to the window with a cup of coffee to enjoy the beauty. She was fond of travel and led a tour group to England. Her home that she and Merrill built was filled with what she found beautiful and enjoyed. She had many collections - rabbit figures, tea cups, buffalo and western themed items, as well as books. She was an avid reader. She participated in politics and always exercised her right to vote. Music moved her soul and feet. If she could get her husband to dance at a wedding, she was thrilled. A special thank you to the staff at Fieldstone Memory Care Center in Yakima for their excellent care and compassion. The memorial service will be officiated by Pastor Jason Swan at The Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Burien, WA 98198 at 12:30pm on Saturday, November 18, 2017. In memory of Midge, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, P. O. Box 1950, Clarksburg, MD 20871-1950 or Heartlinks Hospice, 3920 Outlook Road, Sunnyside, WA 98944.

Funeral Service

November 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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