Clark Holger Swenson, age 85 of Buffalo, died June 8, 2021 from complications of Lewy Body dementia.
The oldest of three children, Clark was born at home on April 5, 1936 in Jeffers, MN to Holger and Tonie Bernice (Aslagon) Swenson.
Clark graduated in 1954 from Paynesville High School and went on to compete in track, specializing in high jumping, at St. Cloud State University, where he also earned his BS in English and history education in 1958 and Masters Degree in English in 1962.
After teaching for one year in Melrose, MN, he accepted a job at Buffalo High School where he remained for 36 years, coaching track, directing numerous plays and teaching in the English department.
Clark met his wife Karen while teaching at Buffalo High School and together they raised three children. Always a quiet, patient, soulful man, he loved his wife, children, grandchildren unconditionally, and found God and spirituality in church, in literature, in nature and being with friends and family.
In the fall of 1970, Clark, and friends, founded the Wright County Community Theatre with a production of Li’l Abner, followed by other community plays in Delano and Maple Lake.
Clark wasn’t afraid to take risks and choose difficult, often controversial plays for state contests and productions, resulting in numerous accolades from directors and theatres throughout the state.
His accomplishments in theatre were many, but he was always most proud of his casts and crews; he expected much and stretched them to near breaking points with challenging material, but they always gave back 100%.
Clark, a true Renaissance man, loved all the arts, classics, photography, sports and the outdoors. He was happiest taking family photos, making yearly albums, directing plays and photographing, taping and cataloging each, camping in the boundary waters, fishing, entering fishing contests, picking bittersweet, hunting deer, sitting in duck blinds and photographing every fish, goose, deer and duck he saw.
A small corner of land on Lake Linka between Brooten and Glenwood, MN that his grandfather Gunvald Aslagson bought 103 years ago, and where a family cabin now sits, afforded him hours of family and nature’s wonders. Several cabin owners humorously commented that they set their watches by Clark’s daily fishing hours.
Clark was preceded in death by his parents, and sister Margo
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Karen; daughter, Mara (former son-in-law Jeff) of Buffalo, MN; sons, Grant (Melany) of St. Augusta, MN and Leif (Jenna) of Minnetonka, MN; grandchildren, Jordan, Makenna, Ari, Jonah, Isla, Ryder, Zarik; great granddaughter, Payton; sister, Jan Erickson (Clay Nicles) of Plymouth, MN; brother-in-law, Dane (Claudia) Wobschall of Waseca, MN; nieces, Brittany Wobschall of South St. Paul, MN and Megan Wobschall of Rochester, MN.
His family will bury his ashes later this summer in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Brooten, MN.
Memorials will be donated to Minnesota youth theatre education programs and Lewy Body Research.
A celebration of Clark’s life will be held on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 3:00 PM, with visitation one hour prior, at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo, MN. A meal and memory sharing will follow at 4:00 PM.
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with one another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Thorton Wilder – playwright