Gardening 06

Lylian Mae (Swanson) Richards

September 14, 1931 ~ September 21, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Lylian Richards Obituary

Lylian Mae Richards passed away peacefully on September 21, 2023, at the age of 92, with loving family by her side.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, October 23 at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home in Bemidji.  Family will greet friends an hour prior to the service, as well as after.

Lylian “Mickey” was born on September 14, 1931, to George and Katharine (Anton) Swanson in Sanders Township, Pennington County, Minnesota.  She grew up on the family farm with her nine brothers and sisters.  She attended secondary school in St. Hilaire and graduated from Lincoln High School, Thief River Falls in 1949.  She was confirmed at Calvary Lutheran Church in St. Hilaire.

Lylian married Charles R. Richards on June 24, 1951, in Thief River Falls where they made their life-long home.

Lylian worked in retail, specifically sales of china, crystal, and jewelry.  She began her work life at Woolworths and then gained knowledge and a love of working with finer things at Elofson’s Jewelry and The Jewel Box.  In 1995, she supported her good friend, LeeAnn Nelson, as she opened Diamonds and Designs.  She continued to be a presence at Diamonds and Designs as she was able, into her mid-eighties.

Lylian was a true homemaker.  She worked diligently at providing a well-cared for and loving home, nourishing meals and homemade clothes for her family.  Her home was often the gathering spot for friends and family.  She nurtured her children and then grandchildren always having their favorites on hand. She enjoyed gardening, not just for the produce, but also for the beauty. 

She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church participating in Altar Guild, Circle and the quilting group.  In her later years, she made quilts, many of which were donated. She also enjoyed reading.  After moving to Birchhaven Independent Living, she became a faithful attendee of Pastor Terry Bernstrom’s church services and Bible study.

Lylian will be remembered as being a strong, pragmatic women able to handle whatever came her way.  As a family member recently observed, “Gracious in life, gracious in death”. 

Lylian is survived by her four children: Kelsy (Michael) Blowers; Karyn (Timothy) Lutz; Ross (Susan) Richards; and Kristie (Jeff) Hensel, eight grandchildren: Hunter (Katlyn) Blowers; Jordan (Nicole) Lutz; Katey Lutz; Becca (Matthew) Belle Isle; Betsy (Kale) Hermanson; Tessa (Ben) Lindberg; Jaymeson Hensel; and Nate Hensel, six great-grandchildren: Emmett and Cedric Lutz; Parker and Quinn Belle Isle; Callen Hermanson; and Caleb Lindberg, sister Sharon (Neil) Bugge; brother Oliver “Skip” Swanson and sister-in-law Shirley Swanson.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Lylian is preceded in death by her husband Charles R. Richards; her parents, George and Katharine Swanson; sister, Eleanor Swanson; and Swanson brothers, Chester, Leonard, Donald, Clifford, Dennis and Leslie.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lylian Mae (Swanson) Richards, please visit our floral store.

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October 23, 2023

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home
3330 Irvine Ave. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Memorial Service
October 23, 2023

10:30 AM
Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home
3330 Irvine Ave. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601


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