Helen Margaret Swank, 101

Published 10:31 am Thursday, March 10, 2011

Helen Margaret Swank, 101, of Austin, died Tuesday, March 8, 2011, at Sacred Heart Care Center where she had been a resident for several years.

Helen was born May 13, 1909, to Fred and Mary (Gagen) Leek in Austin. She was the third child in a family of five daughters. Helen was baptized and confirmed at St. Augustine Church and was also married there to Edward “Bob” Swank on January 29, 1928. They were blessed with four sons: Ronald, Kenneth, Paul, and Leo.

Helen worked for the Hormel Company for 27 and a half years and retired in 1972. She loved traveling, both in the United States and abroad. Helen liked to dance, knit, and read until her eyesight failed. She was an avid bridge player and had a sharp wit and keen sense of humor.

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Helen enjoyed her many friends and was always ready “to go out for lunch,” or shopping. She loved a good joke and often had a twinkle in her eye as she told one herself.

Helen had a large extended family. She cherished the visits of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren when they came to see her at Sacred Heart Care Center.

Survivors include her daughters-in-law, Theresa Swank and JoAnn Swank of Austin; half-brother, Kenneth Leek of Beaver Creek, Ore.; 16 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; 13 great-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband; sons and daughter-in-law, Ronald (Winnie), Kenneth, Paul, and Leo; great-grandson.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 2 p.m. Friday, March 11, at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Father Joe Fogal and Father Donald Zenk officiating. Friends may call one hour before the service at the church on Friday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery.

The casket bearers will be Douglas Swank, Kevin Swank, Nathan Swank, and Michael Swank. Arrangements by Mayer Funeral Home.