Ruth Swedlund

Ruth and her twin brother Raymond were born in Brown County, S.D.,  Dec. 4, 1923, to parents Albert and Mabel Ofstedal.
The Ofstedal children, Marion, Sylvia, Raymond and Ruth, attended the local country school as young children and then attended high school in Ellendale, N.D.
The Ofstedals and many of their relatives and friends were long time members of Aurdal Lutheran church.
After graduation from high school she worked for a short time and then received notice she had received a scholarship to South Dakota State University.
After three semesters there she moved to Chicago, Ill., to stay with her sister Marion, whose husband had recently gone overseas in the military. Ruth started work as a riveter building airplanes at Douglas Aircraft during WWII. She made 65¢ an hour and worked up to $1.05/hr and once wrote, “Who needs college when you can make such good money?”
At Douglas she met Lyle Swedlund. They came back to South Dakota to be married at Aurdal Lutheran Church in August 1945. On returning to Chicago they found operations for the war winding down in the factory so they returned to Tripp County, S.D., to take up ranching.
Life on the prairie started out pretty lonely and dreary but before long they built a house and settled into life as cattle ranchers. By the time they decided to pull up roots in 1964 and move to a ranch in the Black Hills near Custer, S.D., they had four children—Marla, Lowell (Swede), Duane and Brad. Once again, they built a new house which they moved into in 1966.
Ruth sewed, crocheted, quilted, cooked, baked, read, gardened, built things and did woodworking projects, often out of necessity but also because she enjoyed these things. She raked hay in the summer and helped pull calves when it was below zero. She enjoyed the beauty of her garden and the natural beauty of the Black Hills. She liked to drive down an unexplored road she found just to see what was there. Gathering at Custer Lutheran Fellowship and enjoying the neighborhood ladies club were favorite social activities.
Ruth’s husband, Lyle, passed away in 2000. She continued to live on the ranch with her son, Duane, until just about a year ago when they moved to assisted living at Peaceful Pines near Rapid City, S.D..
Ranch life had provided many challenges during her life but she sure missed living on the ranch. She very much enjoyed many visits from family and friends throughout life and especially during her time there.
Ruth Swedlund passed away peacefully Jan. 21, 2023. She was 99.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle; siblings and Lyle’s siblings, daughter-in-law Anita Swedlund and son-in-law Dave Sebade.
Ruth is survived by her four children, Marla Sebade (Larry Chilstrom), Lowell (Swede),  Duane and Brad; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 26, at Custer Lutheran Fellowship.
Committal services will follow at the Custer Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your favorite charity. Good friends of Ruth should consider themselves honorary pall bearers.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Custer.


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