Irene M. Swallow

February 27, 1917 ~ March 20, 2020 (age 103)


Irene M. Swallow, 103 of Duluth passed away peacefully on March 20, 2020 at North Shore Estates in Duluth, MN.  She was born in Duluth, MN on February 27, 1917 to Walter and Margaret M. Novack (Janalik).  Irene attended primary school at St. Peter & Paul in the West End of Duluth and graduated from Stanbrook Hall (St. Scholastica) in 1935.  Several of Irene’s Stanbrook Hall classmates went on to enter the convent and became Nuns and were lifelong friends of hers.  She married Richard (Dick) Swallow in January of 1950; he preceded her in death in May of 1986.  Irene was the oldest of six children including Edward (Marge) Novack, Gerald (Shirley) Novack, Dorothy (Richard) Miller, Robert (Lorraine) Novack, and Richard Novack.  Irene’s family includes two sons: Charles (Earleen) Hanson of Duluth, MN, Gary (Lynn) Hanson of Dana Point, CA.  Four grandchildren:  Amie Hanson of Minnetonka, MN, Dane (Brooke) Hanson, Christian Hanson and Eric (Marissa) Hanson of California.  She also had three Great-grandchildren:   Cole, Tori and Everly West Hanson, all of California.  Irene is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Irene spent most of her life in Duluth and worked as a legal secretary, telephone operator and also in retail sales for many years.  She loved playing the piano and performed as a piano bar player and entertainer with her husband Dick for many years in Duluth and surrounding areas.  Irene was a lifelong member of Musicians Local 18 in Duluth.  She was a longtime member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Duluth and served in many capacities in her earlier years at the old “St. Jeans” Church and School.  She was a member of the “Goodwill” Auxiliary in Duluth for many years and also served as its President for several years.  When asked at one of the recent 100 year birthday party celebrations at the Duluth DECC (She attended three of them) what was her advice for living to be 100? She replied “Say the Rosary every day, commit no sins and also – treat everyone nice”.  Due to the current conditions a Memorial Service may be conducted at a later date.  Burial will be at the Polish Cemetery, Duluth, MN.

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