Cover photo for Leighton George Swenson's Obituary
Leighton George Swenson Profile Photo

Leighton George Swenson

October 31, 1950 — April 16, 2024

St. Peter

Leighton George Swenson

Leighton George Swenson, 73, of St. Peter, Minnesota, passed away unexpectedly on April 16, 2024. 

Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at First Lutheran Church, St. Peter. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. prior to the service. After the service a Celebration of Life will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 4 :00 p.m. at Shoreland Country Club. St. Peter Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Leighton was born in St. Peter on October 31st, 1950, to Leighton (Dick) and Marjorie (Norman) Swenson. He grew up in St. Peter and graduated from St. Peter High School in 1968. While in high school he was actively involved in student council and excelled in football, wrestling and baseball. In football he was All Conference and All State Honorable mention in 1967. He was also involved in scouting and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

He attended college at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1972. He moved to Bismarck, North Dakota shortly after graduating from St John’s and worked for Wyeth Pharmaceutical as a Territory Manager.

He met his wife, Donna Collins, while living in Bismarck. They were united in marriage on August 27, 1977. The couple moved to St. Peter, MN in 1979 where Leighton joined the family insurance business. The couple was blessed with two children, Lindsay Anne, and Dustin James.  Leighton worked for the family insurance agency (Leighton Swenson Agency) until he sold the business in 1996 and joined Ross Nesbit Agencies.  He continued to work for Nesbit Agencies until his passing. In addition to his career, Leighton was an active volunteer in town.  He served on the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce Board, Rotary Club, Ducks Unlimited, and volunteered for many years for the 4th of July Celebration.

Leighton loved sports.  He loved watching, playing, and coaching. If there were sports on TV, you bet Leighton was watching it in his man cave. He loved watching and listening to the Twins, Vikings, Gophers, North Stars then Wild and really any other sport that was on TV. He still had his seat back from the old Met stadium where he was a Vikings season ticket holder and kept his ticket stub from the 2009 Vikings/Packers game (Bret Favre’s return to Lambeau as a Viking).  Leighton was actively involved in his children’s sports when they were young and coached them in basketball, softball, and baseball.  He was devoted to creating opportunities for Lindsay and Dustin in sports and volunteered on the Hockey Association Board and helped with the organization of the St. Peter Youth Basketball Association and the St. Peter Girls Softball Association.  He can also be credited with starting the SPYBA Annual Tournament. 

Leighton enjoyed the outdoors and was always building “something” and doing projects around the house.  He and Donna enjoyed skiing/walking/ hiking and snowshoeing on their property in St. Peter. He also loved going to the lake cabin on Round Lake in Northern Minnesota. It was a rare weekend that he was not working on a project at home, helping friends with anything they needed help with, spectating a sporting event, or spending time at the lake. The cabin was his happy place he had dreamed of for years. While at the lake he enjoyed sitting on the pontoon in the evening and watching the beautiful sunsets and wildlife with his golden retriever Milo (and later Cooper) and taking the grandkids fishing every chance he got (or running them through the reeds while tubing).

Another passion of Leighton’s was the family’s hunting shack on Swan Lake. There was not a weekend during the late summer / fall that Leighton would not drag his son (and friends) to the shack. It was all about preparation in the late summer and then hunting in the fall. More important than the hunting lessons taught were the subtle life lessons he would speak of to any and all listening. These weekend retreats were memorable for any family member or friend that had the opportunity to take part in this tradition. It was truly a place of peace and happiness for Leighton. Hunting became secondary as the years passed while he watched the love of the great outdoors being passed on to his son and friends. In fact, there were many mornings he decided to “sleep in” and be there to greet the hunters upon the return to the dock with a warm breakfast waiting and the sound of football on the radio or TV. 

Leighton was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a great friend. He was a people person who was happiest when the whole family was together.  Being a grandpa came naturally to Leighton.  He loved spending time with his grandkids and loved helping them explore the outdoors every chance he got.  When his four grandchildren joined sports, the game-side support continued, and he rarely missed any sport or activity the kids were involved in. He was an absolute staple in the bleachers/stands with the newest / best fan gear for that specific team. When the game was over Leighton always stuck around to congratulate the team on their efforts (win or loss). He always made sure everyone knew he was “proud of them”.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Donna; daughter, Lindsay (Christian) Mondick; son, Dustin (Brielle); 4 grandchildren, Vivianne Mondick, Maren Swenson, Maxwell Swenson, and Nolan Swenson; sister, Jean Schneider; brothers-in-law, Dennis Collins, David Collins and sister-in-law, Debbie Collins; many nieces and nephews as well as the family dog, Cooper.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Leighton and Marjorie Swenson; brother, Charles Swenson; sister, Mary Grendahl and brother-in-law, Philip Schneider.

We will miss Leighton dearly, but we are so grateful for the time we had to spend with him.  We will always feel his presence in our hearts.


The live stream link below is a complimentary service provided by St. Peter Funeral Home.

Unforeseen technical, internet, facility, and/or acoustical circumstances may produce a diminished end product. Please note, if the live stream does not appear, we are attempting to record and publish the service for later viewing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leighton George Swenson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, May 11, 2024

9:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)


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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 11, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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