Sophia Betty Swanson

sophia swanson

Sophia Betty Swanson, age 88, passed on into eternity on Monday, September 28th, 2009.

From her humble beginnings in a 24x24 stone cottage near Rushville, NE, that she shared with 7 siblings - Roy, Steve, Mike, Joseph, Mary, Frank, and Hattie - Sophia developed a straight-forward, hard working attitude that guided her through life.

Her parents, Peter Ofzarzak, and Josephine Kubiak Ofzarzak, were from Ligota, Poland.
She was born at home on May 17, 1921.

She was married to Fred Norman Swanson ("Swede") for 45 years. He proceeded her in death in 1988. Sophia and Fred lived in Englewood and Littleton since the early 1940's.

She was the loving mother to Karen Roley, Linda Zotos (husband Steve), Ron Swanson (wife Erna), and Norman Swanson (wife Phyllis).

She had 8 grandchildren, 6 of whom live in Colorado still, and 21 great grandchildren. She rarely missed an opportunity to wish a "Happy Birthday" or challenge an offspring to "be your best" and "accomplish your goals".

When Sophia moved from Nebraska to Colorado, she and her sister Hattie unofficially changed their names to signify a new chapter in their lives. Hattie became known as Pat, and Sophia became Betty.

Through the years, Betty's farm work ethic led her to a variety of jobs, including caring for a shut-in in NE and children in Canyon City, CO, and jobs at Cudahy Meat and Ft. Logan, doing payroll at the Denver Finance Center, and working on the 8th floor at Montgomery Wards in Denver, where her daughters would try to run down the stairs to beat her elevator to the ground floor when picking her up after work.

Betty also sold AVON and drove a bus for SEMBCS for disabled children, was a cook at Euclid Middle School in Littleton, and was a school bus para-pro for the Littleton Public School District, from which she retired in the early 1990's.

Betty enjoyed gardening, and always had a beautiful display of petunias, gladiolas (her favorite), and violas. She also enjoyed bowling on many leagues over the years as well as fishing and camping with the grandkids.

Betty loved to "go up the mountain" to Central City to try her luck, enjoyed the horse races in Littleton, and was able to travel later in life, with a trip to Hawaii. She had always hoped to go to Europe to see her family's native soil.

She fancied herself as a good cook, and made delicious banana bread and "ranger cookies", always softened with an apple slice in the cookie jar, ready for hungry grandkids who would stop by to say "hi", mow the lawn, or take a quick shopping trip to Joslins, Walgreens, or the grocery store with the best deals.

Betty was a long standing member of All Souls Catholic Church in Englewood, and attended many functions at Littleton Baptist Church, where she professed a simple faith in Christ that carried her to the end.

She was a companion and friend to her Colorado kids, Linda, Karen, and Ron, during the last 20 years. Norman lives in California and was not able to enjoy his mother's company as frequently. A straight-shooter, Sophia provided support, encouragement and advice to all who would listen.

Betty enjoyed a good game of UpWords, doing the crossword puzzle, going for walks around Ketring Park, and having her hair set. She was always ready to go for a drive (maintaining that privilege until the last year), attend water exercise classes at the YMCA, pick chokecherries on the side of the road, and engage in family conversations around the dinner table.

She was a tidy housekeeper, a colorful dresser, and loved to laugh, with expressions like "Egads!" and "You're giving me palpitations" to keep the humor flowing.

Sophia was surrounded by family when she died, happy at home in Littleton. She will be cremated with a memorial service to follow. Services are pending, please return to this site for an update.

She was dearly loved, and those whose hope is in Christ will see her soon. We will treasure her memory in our hearts. A special thanks goes to Phyllis, Liz, Brittany, Julianna and Kim, who provided care in her home. You are a blessing.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the children's charity of your choice, as Betty always wanted to be a teacher.

A Poem for our Mother and Grandmother,
as God, the Perfect gardener, has called you to Himself

God looked around His garden
And found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.

He put His arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering,
He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyelids,
And whispered, "Peace be thine."

It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.


Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. ~ Psalm 116:15

I will be your God throughout your lifetime. I AM HE, I am He who has made you, I will care for you. I will carry you, and I will sustain and save you. ~ Isaiah 46:4

Those who walk a Godly path enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
~ Isaiah 57:2

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