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Donna Mae Swearingen, 81, Ottawa, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

Family will meet with friends 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at Dengel & Son Mortuary. Cremation is planned. A private family inurnment is planned at a later date at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa.

She was born Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1931, in Marysville, the daughter of Victor and Erma (Bull) Behrens Sr.

Donna moved to Ottawa in 1949 from Marysville.

She graduated from Marysville High School with the class of 1949.

Donna was united in marriage with Dean C. Swearingen Feb. 4, 1951, in Ottawa. He preceded her in death Sept. 26, 1980.

During the 1950s, Donna worked at the Plaza Theater and an Ottawa dry cleaner. In the 1960s, she worked in the KOFO Radio office. From 1976 until her retirement in 2006, Donna was a real estate agent affiliated with C. Lister and Associates for many years and later joined Lantis & Associates-Coldwell Banker, both of Ottawa.

She was a member and former secretary of the Ottawa Lions Club, where she also served as a district chairperson. She was a member and former secretary/treasurer of the Franklin County Board of Realtors. She was a member and held many offices with the Kansas Business and Professional Women and Ottawa Business and Professional Women. She was a Girl Scouts Troop Leader and was involved with Girl Scouts at a state level. Donna also was a member of the Hawthorne Elementary Parent Teacher Association.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean C. Swearingen; and parents, Erma and Victor Behrens Sr.   

Survivors include two sons, Robert R. Swearingen and wife, Cheryl, Ottawa, and Barry D. Swearingen, Ottawa; two daughters, Barbara A. Gibson and husband, Will, Ottawa, and Laura K. Miller and husband, Walter, Ottawa; a sister, Delores M. Carlson and husband, Richard, Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.; brother, Victor W. Behrens Jr. and wife, Ann, Frankfort; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Ottawa Lions Club or Alzheimer’s Association through Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory St., Ottawa KS 66067.

An online guest book is available at Condolences may be made at

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