Burlin "Bob" Swalstad


Burlin "Bob" Swalstad, 79, Fargo passed away Monday, September 12, 2011.

Bob was born June 2, 1932 to Burlin and Ruth (Amundson) Swalstad in Shelly, MN. Bob's father passed away when he was a baby. Bob was raised by his mother and many aunts and uncles. Bob grew up in Shelly, MN, graduating from Climax High School in 1950.

After graduation, Bob enlisted in the United States Army in 1953. Bob served in Germany as a radio operator/technician during the Korean Conflict. Bob married DeNae Baker at Shelly Lutheran Church on September 15, 1953. Bob was honorably discharged in 1955. After returning to the States, Bob and DeNae made their home in many towns in MN while Bob worked Road Construction. Bob attended Wahpeton State School of Science graduating with an associate's degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering in 1958. Following graduation, Bob went to work for NDSU in the Physics' Department before moving to the Chemistry Department where he retired after 35 years of service in 1994.

Bob enjoyed his lake home on Lake Ida which he and is uncles built in 1966. He spent many hours pulling his 4 daughters and neighborhood kids water skiing around the lake. His evenings were spent around the bonfire with friends and family. He enjoyed riding his many motorcycles.

Bob was an active American Legion and 40/8 Member where he spent several years in the toy shop repairing toys for under privileged children. If anything ever needed to be fixed, Bob would fix it.

Bob is survived by his wife of 58 years, DeNae, Fargo, four daughters; Lyn (Todd) Sanders, Gurnee, IL, Roberta "Bobbi Kay" (Chuck) Kranz, Phoenix, AZ, Tammy Barney, Phoenix, AZ, Kelly (Arlen) Johnson, Detroit Lakes, MN, grandchildren; Jennifer, Brianne, Justin, Jamie, Mackenzie, Ashley, and Jacob, and 6 great-grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, and son-in-law, Sam Barney.

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  1. Bowdon ND
    My prayers and sympathy to you and your family. Hopefully you can place me DeNae – – Cousin Dick’s widow. You will have some tough days ahead but your faith and support from family & friends will see you through.

    Pat Martin

  2. Pelican Rapids MN
    My sincere condolances to DeNae and family. I was Chief Engineer for KDSU-FM and spent a lot of time with Bob sitting in his stockroom office when attending to the radio transmitter in the Ladd Hall attic. I was also stationed in Germany after Signal Corps training in the early 60’s so we had mutual training and interests. I even helped him out a few times with his technical problems. I always looked for him when passing by his office. My wife and I bumped into both of you on several occasions, American Legion and elsewhere. We retired from SU in 1999 and live at our Crystal Lake home which we built.

  3. Fargo Thoughts and prayers for all of you guys, so sorry to learn of Bob’s (Dad #2) passing. He had been such a big part of my growing up years as my dad #2 – he will be greatly missed – Sandy M

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. When I first met Bob, through my friendship with Lyn, I was suprised at how quiet he was (after all look at the girls) but as I got to know him better and had an opportunity to talk with him more, it didn’t take long to realzie what a kind-hearted person he was and where the girls got their sense-of-humor from. He will truly be missed but never forgotten. My thoughts, prayers and love are with you all…..and a special BIG HUG for my Lynnie-girl. Take Care and I love you….Carol

  5. Carrington ND
    DeNae, sorry to hear about Bob passing away. I will keep you and the rest of your family in my thoughts at prayers.

  6. Fargo ND
    Denae –

    So, so sorry to hear about Bob. I miss our fun times at Lake Ida, 4th of July and Bob with his electric saw going after those innocent lilac bushes! Hugs to you and the girls and grandchildren who are probably all grown up at this point. God’s peace to you all.


  7. Fargo ND

    DaNae and Family,

    It is so difficult to say goodbye to someone we love and hold so dear and if it were up to us, we would always keep them here with us. But God has reasons of His own. Right now, your arms are empty, and your hearts are filled with tears and grief, for those of you who shared your days with Bob are now finding those days too brief. Yet if only we could heaven see, you know he is happy there. So trust Bob to God’s care and know that some day again you will hold him to your hearts when you reach Heaven’s shore.

    You have our love, our prayers and our deepest sympathies. Bob will be greatly missed by his family, many friends and especially by Bob and me. May beautiful memories sustain you and may God be with you to help and guide all of you through this difficult time and in the days to come. So sorry we couldn’t be with you at the Celebration of Life for our friend, Bob. God bless you all. We love all of you.

    Starts Without Me

    When tomorrow starts without me
    And I’m not there to see,
    If the sun should rise and find your eyes
    All filled with tears for me
    I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
    The way you did today,
    While thinking of the many things,
    We didn’t get to say.

    I know how much you love me,
    As much as I love you,
    And each time that you think of me,
    I know you’ll miss me too

    But when tomorrow starts without me,
    Please try to understand,
    That an angel came and called my name,
    And took me by the hand,
    And said my place was ready,
    In heaven far above,
    And that I’d have to leave behind
    All those I dearly love.

    But as I turned to walk away,
    A tear fell from my eye
    For all my life, I’d always thought,
    I didn’t want to die.
    I had so much to live for,
    so much left yet to do.
    It seemed almost impossible,
    that I was leaving you.

    I thought of all the yesterdays,
    The good ones and the bad,
    I thought of all the love we shared,
    And all the fun we had.
    If I could relive yesterday,
    Just even for a while,
    I’d say good-bye and kiss you
    And maybe see you smile.

    But then I fully realized,
    That this could never be,
    For emptiness and memories,
    Would take the place of me.
    And when I thought of worldly things
    I might miss come tomorrow,
    I thought of you, and when I did,
    My heart was filled with sorrow.

    But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
    I felt so much at home.
    When God looked down and smiled at me,
    From His great golden throne,
    He said, “This is eternity,
    And all I’ve promised you.”
    Today your life on earth is past,
    But here life starts anew.
    I promise no tomorrow,
    But today will always last,
    And since each day’s the same way
    There’s no longing for the past.

    You have been so faithful,
    So trusting and so true.
    Though there were times
    You did some things
    You knew you shouldn’t do.
    But you have been forgiven
    And now at last you’re free.
    So won’t you come and take my hand
    And share my life with me.

    So when tomorrow starts without me,
    Don’t think we’re far apart,
    For every time you think of me,
    I’m right here, in your heart.

    Author Unknown

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