Marianne was born Dec. 28, 1918, at the Burtness family homestead in Field Township, St. Louis County, Minnesota, the second child of Peter and Anna Mathilda (Swenson) Burtness. Her grandparents were Elling Helgesen and Kristi Olsdatter (Myhre) Burtness, Norwegian pioneers of Wilmington Township, Houston County, Minnesota, and Albert and Emma (Olsdotter) Swenson, Swedish pioneers of Oneota, St. Louis County. Rev. Olav Refsdal baptized Marianne at the Little Fork Lutheran Church in Field Township on June 26, 1921. She made public affirmation of her faith with confirmation rites at Trinity Lutheran Church of Cook on May 15, 1932, under the tutelage of Rev. Tonnes Ekeland.
Marianne attended St. Louis County school no. 21 for grades 1 and 2, transferred to school no. 19 (Everson School) for grades 3 through 8, and completed grades 9-12 at Cook High School, graduating with the class of 1936. She enrolled at Virginia Teachers College, graduating on June 8, 1938. She continued her education at the University of Minnesota and then at Duluth State Teachers College receiving her B.A. in 1940. She taught in the Rice County school district no. 54 near Morristown for the 1940/1941 school year, followed by assignments in Brownton, Wheaton, Moose Lake, and Braham in 1945/1946.
While at Braham, she attended the Braham Evangelical Covenant Church and met Glen Swanson. Marianne left to teach at Mahtomedi for the 1946/1947 school year, but the romance continued. Glen and Marianne were married on June 7, 1947, by Rev. Charles Fritz at the home of Charles and Mary Frye in St. Paul. She joined Glen at his parental farm home in Royalton Township, which included Glen’s parents Edward and Florence (Engler) Swanson and his Grandmother Alma Carolina (Carlson) Swanson. To this union two sons, Duane Peter and John Edward, were born in 1948 and 1949 respectively. In 1955, she returned to education, teaching Junior High English and social studies in the Pine City school district until her retirement in June 1964.
Marianne was active in the young couples’ programs at the Covenant Church and, later, in its women’s organizations. She enjoyed literature, history, politics and government. An avid reader, she continued to receive and devour the daily and weekly papers until failing eyesight forced her to rely on television and radio for the news. An enthusiastic follower of college basketball, Marianne enjoyed keeping up with the legendary coaches of major university programs and savored the commentaries of Sid Hartman.
Marianne’s first love was her family. She kept in communication with a vast array of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and great grand nieces and nephews, rejoicing in births, encouraging accomplishments, and consoling in death.
Glen and Marianne traveled throughout the United States visiting relatives. In 1995, she accompanied her sister, brother and sister-in-law, a niece and a nephew on a trip to Portugal and Spain where they toured castles, cathedrals, and posadas.
Marianne is preceded in death by her parents Peter and Anna, husband Glen, brothers Eldred (Julia) and William Howard (Genevieve), brother-in-law Laurence Rieder, and a great grand niece Ella McKenzie.
She is survived by her sons Duane (Kathy) and John (Janice) of Braham; five grandchildren: Becky Swanson of Braham, Mandy (Tom) Visser of Braham, Andy Swanson of Harris, John Erik Swanson of Long Prairie, and Kristi Swanson of Shannon, Illinois; sister Betty Rieder of Delano, sister-in-law Jean Burtness of Wethersfield, Connecticut; aunt-in-law Margaret Holler of Pine City; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family thanks Pastor Steve Jennisch for his many visits, the volunteer drivers of Meals on Wheels for their many years of delivering food and sharing companionship, and the staffs of Allina Home Health and Allina Hospice for providing excellent medical attention.
A funeral service was held Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at the Braham Evangelical Covenant Church in Braham with Rev. Steve Jennisch officiating. Music was provided by Pat Stenmo (organist) and Jon Scheele (soloist). Casket Bearers were Laurence Rieder, David Rieder, Daniel Rieder, Greg Johnson, Neil McKenzie and Tom Visser. Burial was at the Rice Lake Cemetery in Braham. Arrangements by Rock-Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham.