Print This Page

January 28, 1934 – February 16, 2024

Marlys Mathilda (Swanson) Gillund was born in Vasa, MN on January 28, 1934 and died on February 16,2024 at the age of 90 years.

Marlys grew up in Cannon Falls, MN on the family farm with her parents Henry and Lillian (Anderson) Swanson and brothers Kenneth, Harlan, John.

She was baptized in Vasa, MN and confirmed at St. Ansgar’s in Cannon Falls MN.

She was a proud graduate of the Cannon Falls class of 1951.

She moved to Minneapolis MN after graduation and worked at Bituminous Insurance company for 5 years.  She met her spouse Melvin through friends of the Dunwoody Girls Club and they were married on June 18, 1955. Having lived in Minneapolis, Anoka, Moorhead, they settled in Buffalo in 1964 where they raised their three daughters Karen, Diane and Judy.

Marlys was a skilled homemaker and a 40 year employee of the Kings House Retreat Center.   She was a faithful member of Zion Lutheran Church – active in women’s circle, quilting, Harvest of Hands and senior activities.  She was an excellent cook and baker and known for her many Scandinavian treats especially her beautiful Christmas cookie trays.  She loved all things Scandinavian – Dala horses, Rosemaling, Hardanger and Swedish music .  She enjoyed needlework completing hundreds of pieces of hardanger embroidery. She enjoyed playing games and deciphering the daily cryptoquip. Her love of travel took her to all 50 states, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Australia.  Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were her pride and joy, spending many hours at activities and traveling with them.

She is survived by daughters: Karen Gillund, Diane Kruse and Judy (Mark) Bay: grandchildren: Amy Jo (Nate) Mattison, Timothy Kruse, Grace (Tyler) Gustafson and Jeffrey (Kelsie) Kuderer; great-grandchildren: Ava and Elizabeth Mattison and Jack Gustafson.

She was preceded in death by her husband Melvin Gillund, her parents Henry and Lillian Swanson, brothers Kenneth (Evelyn), Harlan, John Swanson, great granddaughter Priscilla Gustafson.


Please follow the link below to livestream the services for Marlys

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Zion Lutheran Church or American Swedish Institute.




4 Guestbook Entries

  1. donna meidinger

    Marlys. Your many friends at Village Place Apts will miss you. RIP

  2. Dale Bjorklund

    Someone I’ve know pretty much my whole life. One of my Mother’s best friends! I always enjoyed exchanging Christmas cards with her! Kind & Caring Woman ! My Thoughts and Prayers are with you Girls. Take comfort in knowing she’s in Heaven with Dad now 🙏

  3. Keith and Lisa Wallin

    A lovely summary of Aunt Marlys and her life. Lis and I have great memories of her kindness and interest in our lives/family when we visited her/Uncle Mel in Buffalo and at larger family gatherings, and of course her wonderful cookies 😊. We’re sure she had a great celebration with Jesus after her passing. Although Lis and I won’t be attending the memorial service, please know our thoughts are with all of you. Love, Keith and Lis

  4. Steve Maurer

    Karen, Judy and Diane I’m very sorry for your loss.
    I remember when our family first moved into your neighborhood the first person we met was Marlys and of course she had a tray full of cookies.
    My mom was (Marlis) and Swedish and Marlys being Swedish and the same age became great friends that day.
    She was the kindest neighbor and was always bringing over trays of fresh baked cookies.
    I have fond memories of the neighbor ladies getting together every day for coffee at Bjorklunds,
    Later in life I returned to the neighborhood to raise my family.
    Marlys would watch for our son Scott on the way home from school and of course offer him some cookies.

    I and my entire family will always have fond memories of Marlys and of course Mel and your family.


Submit a Guestbook Entry

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *