Milton "Swede" Alexander Englund

2020-12-11T14:48:33-06:00
Navy Badge
  • Name: Milton "Swede" Alexander Englund
  • Location of Birth: Hovland, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: September 5, 1918
  • Date of Death: May 4, 2003 (84 years old)
  • Parents: Alexander and Blanche(Wilson) Englund
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  • Branch: Navy
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  • Military Highlights:
    Swede answered his country's call to service during World War II by enlisting in the United States Navy and served as a chief petty officer with the Seabees Construction Battalion No. 1007 in the South Pacific.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

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  • Civilian Life:
    Swede became an experienced hunter, fisherman, carpenter, logger, heavy equipment operator and iron miner during his lifetime.

    He assumed the role as head of household at age 13 following his father's premature death. Work on his uncle's farm, plus the game and fish he shot and caught helped feed his mother and three younger siblings until he was old enough to work with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Skills acquired during his stint at CCC Camp No. 724 at Kabetogma Lake led to a job driving logging trucks for the Blandich Logging Company in International Falls, Minnesota. In 1939, he "headed south" to Minnesota's Iron Range and signed on as a mine-stripping contractor with E. A. Young in Keewatin, Minnesota. Butler Brothers hired him a year later as a cat skinner/bulldozer operator for their Pengilly, Minnesota plant.

    He married Mary Frassini in Nashwauk, Minnesota on January 30, 1946. The following year he accepted a transfer to the South Agnew and Morton Mines in Hibbing, Minnesota where he was promoted to assistant mine superintendent. In the mid 1950s, Hanna Mining Company sent him to Canada to oversee mine construction near Knob Lake in Labrador. He returned in 1956 to celebrate with his wife the birth of a long-awaited daughter. When the South Agnew mine closed in 1965, he was transferred to Hanna's National Steel plant in Keewatin where he continued supervising the building of dikes, roads and tailings ponds. He spent so much time in his truck and in the field that a small plat of land on old mining maps was named "Swedeville."

    He will be remembered as a man's man. He was happiest when he was working. Even on days off, he kept busy with building and remodeling projects in town and at the cabin on Swan Lake. Everything he loved to do was connected to the outdoors. And he played almost as hard as he worked. Stories of annual hunting and fishing trips are legendary. Through the years, those expeditions took him thousands of miles, extending his family of friends across the continent. His best friend in later years was his grandson Blake to whom he imparted every ounce of fishing wisdom and worldly advice. He lived every minute of life to the fullest--with no regrets and, always, with a twinkle in his eye.

    Swede is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Josephine (Frassini) Englund; a daughter, Adele (Steve) Yorde; two grandchildren; three siblings, Elizabeth Axmark, Margaret Geselle, and Bernard (Gladys) Englund; ten nieces and nephews and dozens of wonderful neighbors and friends.

    Preceding him in death were his parents, Alexander and Blanche (Wilson) Englund,

    Swede died at home after a short, courageous battle with cancer.

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