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  Sweet Home Funeral Chapel
  1443 Long Street
  Sweet Home, Oregon 97386
  (541) 367-2891
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Retha R. Swegar
November 13, 1928–January 30, 2018

Retha M Swegar, 89, a former Sweet Home, Oregon resident for 50 years and most recently from Stayton, was surrounded by family when she died peacefully after a long illness on Jan 30th. She was born November 13, 1928 in Grand Rapids, Michgan, the daughter of Robert and Artance Rider.

The family moved to California in 1936.  She married the love of her life, William (Bill) Swegar, in 1953. They moved to Oregon and soon settled in Sweet Home. Along with raising five children and being an active member of the Catholic Church, she held various jobs within the school district, primarily as a grade school teacher, which suited her perfectly since she loved children.

After retirement, Retha and Bill moved to Salem in 2004 to be closer to their children and grandchildren.



In 2015, when her health began to fail and assisted living was no longer an option, her granddaughter, Erin Wheeler McKenzie, opened Open Arms Adult Care, a foster home for memory impaired adults, and Retha became her first resident.  This allowed her to spend the remainder of her life in a loving home where she was well cared for. On occasion, Erin would bring her twin boys to the home and Retha could watch her great-grandchildren playing from her own living room!

Retha is survived by sister Frances Kulakowki; children Ruth (Craig) Peterson, Sue (Vern) Freeman, Mark Swegar, Beth (Robyn) Swegar Batory, and Kathy Swegar; nine grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years on Nov. 7, 2004.

Even during her difficult days, Retha always had a sweet smile for everyone and enjoyed playing ‘who loves you more’ with her granddaughter, Erin.

As her children, we will always carry many happy memories in our hearts and take comfort knowing she is now once again with Dad (Bill).

Rosary will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, February 3, at St. Helen Catholic Church in Sweet Home followed by Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow services.


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