Eloise Sward

January 8, 1931 ~ February 9, 2022 (age 91)


Eloise was born January 8, 1931, in Wausa, Nebraska, the daughter of Theodore and Elsie (Larsen) Seagren. They resided on a farm north of Wausa. She was baptized and confirmed at Thabor Lutheran Church in Wausa.  Eloise attended Wausa Elementary and High School.  She attended Luther College in Wahoo, Nebraska, for two years and earned her BA and teaching degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Her first teaching job was in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Eloise met Robert “Bob” Sward in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the two were married on September 1, 1956, in Lincoln.  Bob was enlisted in the Navy and soon thereafter stationed in Oakland, California, where Eloise taught school while Bob was deployed on a Naval vessel. Their son Terry Alan was born in Oakland.  Eloise and Bob returned to Lincoln, in 1957 where they both pursued careers in the education field—Eloise as a teacher and Bob as an administrator.  Three children were born in Lincoln: Julie Gwen, Lori Kristine, and Ricky Eugene. 

In 1967, they moved to Colo, Iowa, where Bob took the Elementary Principal job at Colo Schools.  In 1969, they moved to Sully, Iowa, where they resided on an acreage.  Eloise taught fourth grade at the Kellogg Elementary School, Kellogg, Iowa, and later at Berg Elementary School in Newton, Iowa. She was a gifted teacher with a passion for her students. She retired in 1998 after 31 years of teaching. 

Eloise and Bob enjoyed many years on the “farm” with large gardens, the produce of which they canned and shared generously with others. They also enjoyed spending time at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington, where Bob worked on construction repairs for the housing and they enjoyed time in the nature setting. Eloise was an avid reader and was always on the hunt for a New York Times best-seller as her next literary conquest.  In June of 2020, Eloise moved to Newton Village in Newton, Iowa. While there, we teased her that she was going to read through their entire library, and we would have to restock it. 

Eloise was extremely devoted and vested in her children, grandchildren and great-grand children’s lives. The ripples of her love, patience and grace are felt throughout the generations of her family and friends.  And most importantly she lived her life as a servant-hearted leader who led with a quiet strength.  In addition, she had a multi-page prayer list that she prayed through daily for the needs and concerns of others. Eloise was a great listener, always lending an empathetic ear. The members of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church were an extension of her family and she loved them well. Eloise enjoyed playing piano for enjoyment and at church.

Eloise is survived by her children: Terry (Linda) Sward, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Julie (Stuart) Zurcher, Newton, Iowa; Lori (Tim) Zylstra, Sully, Iowa; Ricky (Jackie) Sward, Monument, Colorado. Grandchildren: Josiah (Alexandrea) Sward, Alyssa Sward, Kristen (Justin) Burmeister, Robert (Emily) Ritter, Anne (Pheng) Vang, Lindsey Ritter, Benjamin (Jennifer) Zylstra, Bethany (Chase) Tanke, Bart (Kasey) Zylstra, Amanda Sward, Lucas (Mikaila Wahl) Sward.  Step-grandchildren: Spencer Wenck, Tate (Tristina) Wenck, Lucas (Catie) Zurcher, April (DJ) Miles, Amber (Tyler) Mathis, Anna Zurcher, and 25 great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert E. Sward; brother, Alan T. Seagren; sister-in-law, Sharon A. Seagren; brother-in-law, Alfred W. Sward; and sister-in-law, Roberta J. Sward.

To send flowers to Eloise's family, please visit our floral store.


Visitation With Family Present
February 25, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Harvest House
7179 E. 110th St. S
Sully, IA 50251

Celebration of Life
February 26, 2022

11:00 AM
Harvest House
7179 E. 110th St. S
Sully, IA 50251

Private Inurnment

Sully Cemetery
12772-12798 County Road F62
Sully, IA 50251


Hospice of Pella
Pella IA

St. Andrew's Lutheran Church
Sully IA

© 2022 Garden Chapel Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility