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Pearl Swiggum
Swiggum Pearl photo for obit

Pearl Swiggum, 101, of Soldiers Grove, passed away on Friday, July 17, 2015 at Sannes Skogdalen Nursing Home in Soldiers Grove.

The daughter of Seeger and Goldie (Davis) Stevenson, she was born March 24, 1914 at their home in Towerville. She attended the Towerville School, Gays Mills High School, graduated as co-valedictorian from Central High School in La Crosse and studied one year at the Vernon County Normal School.

She taught at Towerville School one year before marrying Tillmen J. Swiggum on December 29, 1934. They rented the Carl Stevenson farm, then the Elmer Rogers farm, and some years later buying the home farm near Star Valley. In 1961, they bought the Carl Stevenson farm near Towerville on Stump Ridge.

In 1958, Pearl went to work at the Crawford County Independent in Gays Mills. There, besides newspaper work, she began a column which she continued writing until age 90. In 1973, she became a printer at the NCR Corporation in Viroqua and worked there until 1979.

Her husband preceded her in death December 18, 1985. She was also preceded in death by three brothers, Everett “Steve” Stevenson, Harold “Pat” Stevenson and Sigurd Stevenson Jr.; and five sisters, Evelyn Ray, Georgia Kripps, Aida McLeish, Ruth Swiggum and Bernice “Bunny” Barney.

Survivors include son, Jim (LeAnna) Swiggum of Cottage Grove; daughters, Dorothy Briggson, Viroqua and Marjie Jurgensen, Gays Mills. Grandchildren include Kristi (Danny) Deaver, Jim Briggson, Mark Briggson, Laurie (Paul) Delmore, Mary (Dan) Halpern, Barb (Len) Harris and Alan (Sarah) Jurgensen. Step-grandchildren include Susan (Gary) Haas, Sara (Don) Engeseth, Steven Will and Stuart Will. She also had six great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.

There will be a Celebration of Pearl’s life on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at Kickapoo United Lutheran Church, rural Soldiers Grove. Greeting the family at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ocooch Mountain Rescue Squad, Gays Mills.

Burial will be in the church cemetery. Pastor Gary Daines will officiate.

Online condolences may be sent to

The Sime Funeral Home of Readstown assisted the family with arrangements.