Elizabeth "Betty" McSwain

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Elizabeth "Betty" McSwain

Elizabeth "Betty" McSwain, 84, of Spencer, passed away Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 at her home in Spencer. A private memorial service will be held at a later date in Phoenix, Ariz.

Mrs. Elizabeth Anna Rosson was born Feb. 17, 1924, in Readstown, Wis., to Albert and Ellyn (York) Rosson. She graduated from Readstown High School in 1941, and from Viterbo College, St. Francis School of Nursing, La Crosse, Wis., in 1945.

Betty worked as a registered nurse at Gundersen Clinic in La Crosse before enlisting in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1947. She served at Fort Carson in Aurora, Colo., where she met Arch Dale McSwain, who was serving in the Army as a lab technician. They were married May 20, 1949. They later were stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. They also lived in Virginia and Florida.

Betty returned to Wisconsin in 1950 and worked at Vernon Memorial Hospital in Viroqua. In 1959, she received her degree in Public Health Nursing from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She served as the Vernon County Public Health Nurse for many years. In 1975, Betty accepted a nursing position at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she lived and worked for nine years. During this time she traveled throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

After retiring as a nurse, Betty moved to Spencer in 1987 to be near her children and grandchildren. She worked part-time as a proctor at Iowa Lakes Community College, Spencer Campus, between 1991 and 2000. Betty was an active volunteer, contributing her time and talents to various non-profit organizations and public agencies through the RSVP Volunteer Program. She also volunteered at People for Pets.

Elizabeth McSwain was preceded in death by her son, Michael; her husband; her sister, Alice Glass; her brother, Raymond Rosson; and her parents.

Betty is survived by two daughters and their husbands: Susan and Dennis Garvin of Storm Lake, and Mary and Steven Steele of Spencer; five grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Hospice of Northwest Iowa, Iowa Lakes Community College for the Elizabeth McSwain Nursing Scholarship, or People for Pets.

Warner Funeral Home of Spencer is in charge of arrangements.