Patty Jo (Wendeln) Swanson


LARAMIE – Patty Jo (Wendeln) Swanson moved on to greener pastures on July 14, 2022 in Laramie. 

Patty was born on June 17, 1934 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Earl and Gertrude (Besch) Wendeln. After graduating from Syracuse High School, Patty taught school in a small rural school. On June 1, 1955 she married her childhood sweetheart, Charlie Swanson. Charlie and Patty worked on ranches in Livermore, Colorado before purchasing a ranch on Redstone Creek near Masonville, Colorado. In 1973 they moved to ranch in Laramie and in 1990 also purchased their ‘winter home’, a farm near Lingle. 

Patty was famous for living her motto “you rest, you rust.” She lived this to the fullest with a sharp wit, easy laugh and deep quiet faith. She was a great example to all who knew her. Patty sewed scores of beautiful and award-winning quilts; received many awards for her Make-it-with-wool outfits; she sewed wool shirts for the men at Christmas and dresses for all the little girls for every holiday. She refinished antique furniture; tended her large Wyoming garden; had a summer boot-camp for her grandchildren which taught them about having a strong work ethic and a connection to the land; she baked a hundred kinds of cookies at Christmas time. These are just a few of the many things that filled Patty’s life and filled the hearts of those who loved her.

Patty was active in the Albany County Cowbelles and was named the 2017 Ranchwoman of the Year. When living part time in Lingle, she sang in the choir at the Presbyterian church.

Patty is survived her five children and their spouses. Denise (Decee) and Tony Shifflett of Laramie; Matthew and Becky Swanson of Hill City, South Dakota; Donna Jo Swanson and Tim Demchok of Sheridan; Mark and Dee Swanson of Laramie; and Andy and Celise Swanson of Norfolk, Nebraska; seven grandchildren, Megan Shifflett (and Tyler Lampert) of Cheyenne; Cole Swanson of Spokane, Washington; Jessica (and Brett) Simons of Rapid City, South Dakota; Cade (and Sophie) Swanson of Lingle; Mackenzie Swanson of Hill City, South Dakota; Lauren (and Dustin) Myers of Sparta, Missouri; Erin Swanson of Lincoln, Nebraska. Patty has eight great-grandchildren, (and one on the way); Audrey Swanson; Landon and Oliver Simons; Will Lampert; Jude, Zion, Ada and new baby (Paul) Myers; and Truitt Swanson. 

She is survived also by a sister Peggy (and Bob) Kramer of Bonita, California, one niece, Kim and two, nephews Chris and Hank, and their families.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie; her parents, Earl and Gertrude Wendeln; an older sister, Shirley who died in infancy; and a great grandson, Abel Charles Myers. She also loved and lost a large number of beloved boxer dogs, notably Bonnie, Katie and Jake.

A private family service will be held at a later date. Donations can be made in her honor to the Albany Co. Cowbelles Scholarship, c/o Shirley Lilley, 2017 Grand Ave., #6, Laramie, WY 82070.

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