Sara Lee Swartwood Duden
Jun 20, 1956 - Mar 8, 2017
Sara Lee Swartwood Duden, age 60, of Blue Earth died Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in hospice care at her home in Blue Earth following a more than seven-year battle with liver and kidney disease. Either too healthy or too weak at any given time throughout her ordeal, she never received transplant. Funeral services will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Earth. Visitation will be 5:00pm-7:00pm Friday March 17, 2017 at Patton Funeral Home, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Online condolences can be made at
Sara was born on June 20, 1956, in Albert Lea, Minnesota, to Lester and Ruth (Staehling) Swartwood. A graduate of St. Peter High School and Concordia College, Moorhead, she taught at Blue Earth Elementary School for 35 years. In 1984, her classroom was the first ever, anywhere, equipped with computers for every child. This preceded and was an inspiration for the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow which expanded the idea of a computer for every student into all fifth and sixth grade classrooms at the school. In her 35 years, she taught, at different times, students in grades 3-6.
Sara was united in marriage to Daniel Duden on December 22, 1981, at Shepherd of the Lakes Evangelical Lutheran Church in Fairmont, Minnesota. There she was one of the congregation's organists and participated in its Dorcas Society.
After joining St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Earth, Sara was the accompanist for the children during their Sunday School opening devotions and when they would sing during church services. For years, she helped plan and played for the children's Christmas services. She also accompanied the adult vocal and bell choirs.
She is survived by her husband; two children, Blake Duden of Winona and Rebecca Duden of Blue Earth; brothers, L. David (Kathy) Swartwood of Andover and Paul Swartwood of Blackduck; brothers-in-law, Roger (Elaine) Duden of Eden, Vermont, and Larry (Karen) Duden of St. Peter; nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents.