Lorraine Carolyn (Whalen) Swinarski, 68, of St. Paul, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at the Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul, following a courageous battle with breast cancer.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Revs. Ray Kosmicki, Mike McDermott and James Murphy will officiate. Burial will be in the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the church, with a 7:30 p.m. vigil service.
Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Swinarski was born on June 23, 1944, on a farm in Greeley County, the daughter of Albert R. “Bert” and Alta E. (Starr) Whalen, the second of three children. She attended Enfield School, a one room country schoolhouse, and attended Greeley Sacred Heart High School where she graduated in 1961.
On June 6, 1964, Lorraine married her high school sweetheart and best friend, James A. “Jim” Swinarski at the Church of the Visitation at O'Connor in Greeley County where she also was baptized, received her first communion and confirmation.
Lorraine was employed at Greeley's ASCS Office, The Dean's office at Creighton University in Omaha and Fonner Park's ticket booth in Grand Island. In 1969, Jim and Lorraine bought and ran their own business, Swinarski Pharmacy (formerly Duffy's Pharmacy) in St. Paul for almost 43 years. While Jim worked as a Pharmacist, Lorraine was busy raising four little children; she was very involved in the business, doing bookwork, working at the store as a Pharmacy Tech. and anything that needed to be done to keep the pharmacy running smoothly.
Lorraine and Jim took many trips for business and pleasure to Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Branson, Florida, San Diego, cruises to the Bahamas and Southern Caribbean, Graceland and Las Vegas.
Her loving nature was also exemplified by being a hands-on Grandma who loved spending time with her grandchildren and she got great joy from picking up her grandchildren after school and helping them with their homework for many years. She loved to be involved in all her children's and grandchildren's activities, interests, sports, music, etc.
Lorraine's family was her life; whenever any of them needed her, she was always there, putting their needs above her own. Lorraine was a wonderful cook; she enjoyed puzzles, crosswords, shopping trips with her sister and brother, lunches with her friends, Elvis and Slot machines! Family and friends will remember Lorraine as a warm loving woman with an infectious laughter and deep faith who always put her family first.
She was a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Council of Catholic Women, Eucharistic Minister and served as treasurer of the P.E.O.
Gratefully sharing in her life are her devoted, loving husband of 48 years, Jim Swinarski of St. Paul; one daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Mike Brehm of Chamberlain, S.D; three sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. Ken and Kathy Swinarski of St. Paul, Dr. Jeff and Jennifer Swinarski of Farmington, MO and Scott and Kecia Swinarski of Blaine, MN; eight grandchildren, Staci, Andrea, AngeLena and Dalton Placke, Tyler and Cody Swinarski, Henry Swinarski and Mia Swinarski; and three step-grandchildren, Nicole and Michelle Brehm and Tyler Redmond; sister, Roberta Whalen of Greeley; and one brother and sister-in-law, Gerald “Jerry” and Sharon Whalen of Omaha.
She is also survived by sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Kate and Dan Cole of St. Paul, MN and Dave and Dee Swinarski of Red Wing, MN; and nieces and nephews, Wendy Sciortino, Dr. Shade Whalen, Robin Johnsen, Kim Whalen, Pat Cole, Clare Roney, John Cole, Kelli Hart, David Swinarski and Michael Swinarski.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Memorials are suggested to Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Hall Building Fund.