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Barbara Swanson

June 25, 1941 ~ April 11, 2017 (age 75)
Barbara Dea Swanson (Andresen) passed away on April 11, 2017. She was 75 years old. She was born in Ida Grove, IA to Helen Crawford Andresen and Raymond Andresen on June 25, 1941. She attended Cottey College in Nevada, MO and University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in Cedar Falls, IA, graduating in 1963 with a BA in English. In 1965 she earned a Master of Arts in English from UNI. She received a Ph.D. from University of Minnesota in 1981. Barbara married Merwin “Bob” Swanson in 1965 and divorced in 1977. They had two children, Ann in 1971 and Steven in 1977. She came to Pocatello in 1972 and spent her career at Idaho State University teaching reading and study skills. She was a member of ISU Professional Women and the American Association of University Women. She was committed to making the university and community safer and more equitable for women. She retired in 1999 from her position as Director of Academic Learning Services to pursue her art and travel interests. Barbara started studying watercolor when she was in her mid-forties and became an accomplished watercolorist, winning numerous local and regional awards for her color-focused works. She loved to travel around the world – Europe, Morocco, Japan, Guatemala - for inspiration. Barbara attended the Pocatello Unitarian Universalist Church for many years and served as President during the 1990s. She is survived by daughter Ann Swanson (Pocatello), son Steven Swanson (Katy Kroll) (San Diego), grandchildren Kevin and Meredith Wilson (Pocatello), and Madeline Elaine Swanson (San Diego). Memorial services are planned for late May. Contact for details. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Family Services Alliance ( ) or the Idaho State University foundation.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

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