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Richard Swenson

Richard Swenson

Memorial services for Richard Swenson, age 67 of Bottineau, will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. at the Metigoshe Lutheran Church of rural Bottineau. There will be no visitation cremation has taken place.

Richard Paul Swenson, son of Sanford Paul and Ethel (McDevitt) Swenson, was born with a zest for life on October 17, 1946 in Devils Lake, ND. He graduated from Devils Lake Central in the Class of 64 where he played center for the DL Satans hockey team and was voted "ideal date boy" and "most popular boy" his Senior year. Rick attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in Physical Therapy. He married the "love of his life," Joyce Ann Pedersen on March 17, 1968 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Devils Lake where they both were also baptized and confirmed. In 1972, shortly after their son, Robert Paul Swenson was born they moved from Grand Forks to Dickinson where they resided for 27 years. In 1996 they bought property on Long Lake, NE of Bottineau, ND and in 2000 they built their dream home and called it "Paradise."

Until leukemia took his strength, Rick spent his entire adult life rehabilitating his patients

and helping return them to better function. He loved his work; he loved his patients and never, for one minute, regretted his chosen field. In Dickinson, he was the Director of Physical Therapy at St. Josephs Hospital for 17 years, then went into a partnership with two special friends and former UND classmates. In 1989, Rick and Joyce opened and operated Southwest Physical Therapy, an independent physical therapy clinic in Dickinson. After they sold their business, they moved to Cando, ND for one year while their house was being built on "Paradise." Rick practiced his final years of therapy at Towner County Medical Center in Cando where he worked with and took care of so many wonderful people.

Rick was an active member of Metigoshe Lutheran Church where he served as President of the church council. He had a strong faith and loved to study the Bible. He was always up for a good debate on any topic, but especially loved to discuss religion and politics. Over the years, Rick enjoyed golfing, fishing, snowmobiling, skating, softball. but most of all, he was a die-hard UND Fighting Sioux hockey fan. He passed away on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, ND after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer, just hours before the Sioux lost to MN in the Frozen Four. He would have said: "Well, they played a good game!"

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; son, Bob; daughter-in-law, Renee; grandchildren, Myka Jo Leslie and Zachary Paul, all of Dakota Dunes, SD; sister, Sandra Flanders and brother-in-law Tom Flanders, Arvada, CO; brother-in-law, David Runkle, Lakewood, CO; and nieces and nephews in Colorado.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his infant son, Jonathan Michael; a sister Janice Runkle, and his beloved dogs, Zippy and Molly.

Arrangements are with the Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau. Friends may sign the online register at