A Brief Story of the Coming Together of Karin Carlson and Lyn Swanson
By L.W. Swanson 2021
Some forty plus years before Karin and Lyn were born, events were occurring in far off Sweden that would eventually lead their coming together. Karin’s maternal grandparents were the Henry and Mary Lundell family who settled in Turlock in 1902. Lyn’s paternal grandparents were the Fred and Hilda Swanson family who also settled in Turlock in 1903. Both sets of grandparents emigrated from Sweden in the late 1800’s and eventually migrated to the Turlock, CA area. Both families were charter members of the Swedish Mission church in Turlock, CA which, many decades later, would become the Beulah Covenant Church where Karin and Lyn would attend and where they would ultimately be married in 1955. Pictures of the Henry and Mary Lundell and Fred and Hilda Swanson families taken in the early 1900’s are shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1 (a) Henry and Mary Lundell family, founding members of the Swedish Mission Church, Turlock, CA. Karin’s mom Selma, 1st row, far right on Mary’s lap. (b) Fred and Hilda Swanson family, founding members of the Swedish Mission Church, Turlock, CA. Lyn’s dad Paul, 2nd row, far right.
The next event that would lead to their eventual coming together is shown in Fig. 2 where their mothers (in 1921) were, not only classmates in school, but, as shown in Fig. 2(a) , they were also in the same confirmation class at the church Lyn and Karin would eventually attend. Then in Fig. 2(b), 26 years later, we see Karin and Lyn are also in the same confirmation class at the Beulah Covenant church. The latter church was formed from the original Swedish Mission church where their grandparents were founding members in the early 1900’s and where their mothers were in the same confirmation class. Given all these connections, it is not a surprise that Lyn and Karin were born in the same hospital in Turlock, CA only five weeks apart.
Fig. 2 (a) Swedish Mission Church Confirmation Class of 1921. Karin’s mom 2nd row, 2nd from left. Lyn’s mom 2nd row 4th from right. (b) Beulah Covenant Church Confirmation Class of 1947. Karin 1st row, 5th from left. Lyn 1st row far right.
Although their parents were friends from the early days, Karin’s family lived on the outskirts of Turlock, and she attended grammar school in Turlock. Lyn’s family lived on a farm in the nearby country (a Swedish settlement area known as the Youngstown Colony) and attended grammar school in Hilmar, CA. Later, both Karin and Lyn attended Turlock High School, but did not formally meet until the start of their junior year in 1950 when Karin invited Lyn to a Halloween party at her dad’s ranch located next to the Merced River in Livingston. After the party she needed a ride to her home in Turlock and Lyn offered her a ride home in his newly purchased 1939 Ford convertible*. That event started a romance which resulted in their marriage on April 2, 1955, and ended on July 2, 2021, when Karin received summons to her Heavenly home. Shown in Fig. 3, Karin and Lyn were married in the Beulah Covenant Church by Pastor Gordon Fredeen. All together the romance lasted 70 years.
During their marriage Lyn and Karin lived in various places, but ultimately settled in McMinnville, OR in 1961 where they raised their family. Like their grandparents in the early 1900’s in Turlock, Lyn and Karin were founding members of the McMinnville Covenant church.
Fig. 3 Karin and Lyn are married April 2, 1955, in the Beulah Covenant Church
In addition to the above coincidences, the pastor for their 1947 confirmation class was C. Victor Nyquist who was the uncle of Dwight Nyquist. During high school days, Dwight lived in nearby Ripon, CA and was acquainted with Lyn and Karin via attendance at summer Covenant youth camps at Mission Springs in Santa Cruz. Eventually, Dwight married Lorraine and together had a son, Ted Nyquist. At North Park College in 1982, Cami, the daughter of Lyn and Karin, met Ted Nyquist. They fell in love, married, and eventually settled in McMinnville, OR. where they raised their family nearby to Lyn and Karin’s country home. The final chapter of this story has Dwight, his second wife Bev, Lyn, and Karin, along with Ted and Cami, all spending their final days in McMinnville. Some would call this story a combination of chance events, others would call it Divine Providence. I prefer the latter.
- Later, in Lyn’s 1951 high school class yearbook, Karin would write: “ I sure am glad I invited you to that party”.