Interview with Linda Swanson 9-26-2011
Marcia: How long have you lived in Evergreen?
Linda: It’s been 20 years.
Marcia: Really? Why haven’t I met you before?
Linda: Most of that time I’ve been working in nursing. The last four years I was a night nursing supervisor.
Marcia: Where did you grow up?
Linda: Green Bay, Wisconsin. I had an idyllic childhood. My parents were both very family oriented and had a great sense of humor. My dad worked for the Chicago and Northwest Railroad. He played the harmonica and he and the kids all sang together. I have three brothers and a sister. Two of the brothers and my sister still play in their own band. We spent our summers at a cabin on Lake Michigan, with no electricity! I can remember how excited we all were when we got our first color TV…
Marcia: So, do you get your optimistic outlook from those years?
Linda: Maybe. That optimistic attitude has carried me through a lot of personal tragedy. My mom died when I was 21. My aunt, who is now in her 90’s, became my role model. When I was 40, I was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. I’m in remission now. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This happened just three weeks after Richard and I were married. As a result, I have lost vision in my left eye. Luckily, he is willing to drive me around as I am no longer able to drive because of my poor eyesite.
Marcia: And how did you meet such a wonderful man?
Linda: Match.com…after my sister kept bugging me to try it. I am so happy I met Richard!
Marcia: Where did you get your nursing degree?
Linda: After I went off to school, I married, had a family and helped my first husband with his business. When the marriage ended, I decided to go to CU to get my nursing degree. I choose to specialize in psychotic disorders and mental illness.
Marcia: Tell me about your kids.
Linda: I have three…ages 39, 35, and 33. My oldest is a Lt Commander in the Navy. He is working on a PHD in Public Policy and Hospital Administration. He and his wife live in Maryland and have 3 kids. My next son and his wife have a deli in Eagle, CO and before that he managed the Home Depot there. We are going over to see him sing in a country music completion, singing a song that my brother wrote! They also have 3 kids. My daughter is a nurse at Lutheran Hospital and she and her husband have 2 kids. My eight grandchildren are such a blessing in my life.
Marcia: How did you connect with Evergreen Rotary?
Linda: When I began to recuperate from my brain surgery, I felt the need to do something important. I had really enjoyed working with troubled adolescents as a nurse. So I was looking for something when Harry Roulin answered an ad for our Bronco which he bought for his daughter. Harry invited us to visit the Evergreen Rotary club, so we did. We got such a warm welcome and now I am working with Holly Brekke and the Interact Club.
Marcia: What do you do for fun?
Linda: Well, we just bought a camper and we hope to camp and hike at some of the National Parks.
Marcia: Any words of wisdom?
Linda: With determination and persistence, anything can be accomplished! Be remembered for making a difference for good in the world.