Dorothey Jean Perkins Swenson Texel, daughter of William and Anna Perkins, was born on Sept. 8, 1921. She had four siblings: Gilbert, Elizabeth, Wilma, and Beverly. The family lived in the Rock County area of southwest Minnesota. Dorothey grew up on her parents’ farm, graduated high school in Edgerton, Minnesota, and then moved to Los Angeles, California, to marry her sweetheart from Luverne, Lee Earl Swenson.
When Dorothey arrived in California, she found Lee had shipped out to war. However, Dorothey remained in Los Angeles and got a job with a large newspaper. After World War II the couple were married and settled in Downey, California, eventually moving to Fullerton. They raised their three children, Anna Lea, Michael George, and Gilbert Gene in Fullerton.
In the late 1950s Dorothey went to work full time for Bank of America in Fullerton as a teller. That was the beginning of a long and successful career in banking moving up to loan officer, branch manager, and eventually taking a regional staff position with California 1st Bank, which later became Union Bank. During her time in banking, Dorothey trained and mentored numerous young people, giving them their start in banking.
Lee died in 1964 following a painful bone cancer. Dorothey was now sole provider for her family of young teenagers. A few years later she met Lloyd Texel. They married and moved to Orange. Unfortunately Dorothey and Lloyd did not have much time together. Lloyd died of brain cancer in 1975 only a few years later.
After her retirement from banking, Dorothey moved back to Luverne, Minnesota, in 1981. She bought a house in town and cared for her father, Bill Perkins, in her home until his passing. Dorothey truly enjoyed being back in Luverne and was always busy. She was involved with the quilting club, active in the Historical Society and Presbyterian Church, helped with restoration of the Palace theatre in Luverne, served on committees for the fair and many other organizations in Luverne. Dorothey was a topnotch seamstress and needleworker and won many Grand Champion ribbons at the Rock County Fair. In Luverne, Dorothey became an avid doll collector and filled her large home and basement with a collection numbering over 100. She loved being back in Luverne with all her cousins and Minnesota family and made new friends easily. Dorothey traveled often to California to visit her children and grandchildren, showing up at important graduations and life events.
After two decades back at home in Luverne, Dorothey once again packed up for another move, this time to Washington state to live near her sister Wilma and son Gilbert. As she had all her life, she made many friends there, joined clubs, did needlework and learned a new craft, sewing cards and making folded paper cards. It was not any problem for her to craft all her Christmas cards each year, a mailing list over one hundred.
Reaching age 90 never slowed Dorothey down and she made another move, back to southern California to live in Yorba Linda near her son Michael. She enjoyed her life and friendships at Stonehaven and even at age 100 last year was still walking up to the clubhouse every Monday morning to have coffee and meet up with her lady friends.
Dorothey Jeanne passed away on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, at St. Jude hospital in Fullerton of complications from Covid. Her children, however, think her death has everything to do with living a good, very long life and always having the best time she could have. She was 101 years when she passed and still a character. She had spunk, worked hard her whole life, was loyal to family and friends, and always said what was on her mind.
She is survived by her children, Anna Garza, Mike Swenson, and Gilbert Swenson. Dorothey leaves behind four grandchildren, Lisa Garza-Hillman, Pablo Garza, Erin Swenson and Nicole Swenson and five great-grandchildren, Luna Garza-Hillman, twins Rinah and Ronan Garza-Hillman, Charlie Garza, and Cleo Garza.
In lieu of flowers, should you wish to make a donation in Dorothey’s name, please contact the Maplewood Cemetery Association in Luverne, Minnesota at http://maplewoodcemeteryluverne.org/donations/
Or Hinkly House Museum in Luverne, https://rockcountyhistorical.com/support-us/donate-now/