Margaret “Peggy” Swenson

Margaret “Peggy” Swenson

Margaret Joan Coffey Swenson

(“Peggy” for most of her life) was born May 11, 1923, in Columbus, Ohio. She died June 22, 2017, at home, surrounded by her family. She was born to Dorothy Elizabeth Neff Coffey and Joel Simmonds Coffey. Peggy’s father was a professor of animal husbandry at Ohio State University.

Peggy grew up in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating with a degree in sociology from Ohio State, she went to New York City to find fame and fortune. She found a treasure when she met and married Robert Wayne Swenson (Bob) from Ivanhoe, Minnesota. They both worked in the Davis Polk law firm; he was a new attorney and she worked in the law library.

Bob then went on to teach at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. While there, Peggy gave birth to their three children, but also contracted polio during the epidemic of 1952.  Peggy struggled to walk for many years, without complaint. In 1954, Peggy and Bob moved to Salt Lake City where Bob joined the faculty of the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law. They were enthusiastic Ute fans and went to many football and basketball games, sometimes following the teams to tournaments.

Peggy was an ardent Democrat and worked on many campaigns. She was a delegate to the 1976 national convention. She worked for Senator Frank Moss and for Congressman Wayne Owens and loved every minute of it. She also worked as a volunteer in Attorney General Jan Graham’s office.

Peggy is survived by her three children : Eric Peter ( Mary Ann) of Salt Lake and their children Lorenzo, Lorinda, Elaine and David; Jon Robert ( Carole Grossman) of Davis, California and Jennifer Elizabeth of Salt Lake; her grandchildren Sarah Grossman-Swenson ( Bob Studley) of San Francisco and Joshua Leif Grossman-Swenson of Belmont, California and two beautiful great grandchildren, Eliana and Theodore Swenson Studley of San Francisco. She shared her love of books, her sense of justice, her amazing strength and sense of humor. She loved to laugh. She will be missed always. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy.

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