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Sonja Karen Swanson-OConnor 1942 - 2013
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Sonja Karen Swanson-OConnor 1942 - 2013

PAONIA, Colo. — Sonja Karen Swanson-O’Connor, 71, passed away May 31, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo. Born Feb. 3, 1942 in Paonia, Colo., she was the daughter of Henry R. and Martha Ellen (Hallar). She married Maurice Guy O’Connor. They moved to Montana where they made their home in the Lolo Creek Valley for the next 25 years where she raised her family, later divorcing in 1985.
Survivors include one son, Travis O’Connor and wife Nikki of Kenai, Alaska; three daughters, Melody Struna and husband Frank of St. Ignatius, Mont., LaVaun O’Connor of Grand Junction, Colo. and Judy Goreham and husband Rob of Hoisington; one brother, Henry Robert Swanson and wife Carol of Thornton, Colo.; two sisters, Fiona Swanson of Paonia, Colo. and Judy Jones and husband Tim of Hendrickson, Va.; seven grandchildren, Michael LaForest, Brandon Nuss, Kelsi Nuss, Tiernan O’Connor, Danae Silsby, Trista Goreham and Royce Goreham,; great-grandson, Kaedrik Silsby; many nieces and nephews; and her longtime friend of 29 years, Dick Helean. She was preceded in death by her parents; and infant granddaughter, Ruth Karen LaForest.
Gravesite service will be held at 2 p.m. on June 8th at the family plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Paonia, Colo., followed by a reception at the Paonia United Methodist Church. Memorials are suggested to the Paonia United Methodist Church. View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at

Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, June 4, 2013*