Patricia “Pat” Swanson


Patricia “Pat” Ann Swanson was born August 26, 1939, in Minot, ND, to Ted and Nellie (Davis) Pfau. Pat grew up on the Pfau family farm in Upham, ND, where she spent her days milking cows, helping her dad in the field, and playing with her cousins. Life on the farm is where Pat found her intense work ethic and love of family.


Pat attended the rural school in Upham before attending Upham High School, graduating in 1957. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Minot State University and her Master’s degree from the University of North Dakota. Pat’s teaching career spanned 43 years and she never missed an opportunity to learn or to teach. 


On June 9, 1962, Pat married the love of her life, Arvin Swanson. The two shared a beautiful 58 years of marriage and had one daughter, Michelle. Family always came first and Pat never missed a birthday, graduation, or wedding for any one of her siblings, nieces, nephews, grandkids, great-grandkids, or the friends she considered family. 


Upon retiring from teaching in 2002, Pat and Arvin began their life as snowbirds splitting their time among North Dakota, Texas, and Arizona. Every spring when it was time to return to North Dakota, they would travel a new route that always included visits to family and friends. Together, they visited 38 states across the U.S. pulling their RV the entire way.


Pat passed away on September 25, 2020. She is survived by her husband Arvin; her daughter Michelle Bachmeier (Monte Heinemeyer); granddaughter Mary (Jacob) Woinarowicz;  grandsons Adam Bachmeier (Maya Davis) and Benjamin Bachmeier; great-grandkids Cayden, Harper and Rylan Woinarowicz; sisters Kathie Thompson, Jeanell (Bruce) Nelson; brother Ted (Dolly) Pfau; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents Ted and Nellie Pfau and mother and father-in-law Albin and Iva Swanson.


A private service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, Bismarck, with a live stream starting at 1:00 PM Monday on Zion Lutheran Church’s Facebook Page or the Zion Lutheran YouTube channel..


In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in Pat’s name to Minot State University Foundation – Elementary Education Scholarship or to the donor’s choice.

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