In Memory of







Obituary for Juanita Mary Martha "Corky" Swartout (Corbett)

Swartout, Juanita Mary Martha (née Corbett). Born June 17, 1929, in Minneapolis, MN. She died peacefully on July 4, 2023, surrounded by her family in Minneapolis, MN, at 94.
Juanita was also known as Corky to many and Mary Alice to family members.
Preceded in death by husband Clarence "Em", son Phillip James, daughter Mary Catherine, parents Harold and Irene Corbett, sister Marcella Walsh, brothers Richard and Harold "Hap" Corbett. Survived by brother Jim Manthis (Cheryl), children Helen Ann (Kurt Timian), Joan (Mike McGinn), Michael (Cyna), Edward (Cindy) Martha (Thom Sandberg), Sarah (Mike Jackson), Joseph (Deb Williams), Paula (Don Lundgren).

Grandchildren: Michael Phillip, Jeffrey, Molly, Seth, Emmett, Tara, Michael, Marit, Alissa, Mitchell, Josh, Jessica, Mark, Amelia, John, Alta Lucia, Emma, and Jack.

Fifteen great-grandchildren, numerous nephews and nieces, Godchildren, friends, and many bonus sons and daughters who were considered family. She is regarded as a mother and grandmother to generations of Hmong families.

Corky graduated from Marshall High School in 1947 and the University of Minnesota in 1951 with a degree in social work that she said she practiced on her family.

Corky and Em started their growing family living in student housing on the U of M campus. They then moved throughout the country when Em worked in the grain business, which included job transfers to Iowa, Michigan, and Oregon. Her fondness for hospital food was the result of the "vacation" she got with each hospital stay after the birth of another child, having ten children in the span of 13 years. Corky magically made Halloween costumes out of colorful scraps of cloth she saved, baked custom birthday cakes for each child from a classic animal cut-out cake cookbook, and organized backyard carnivals. Christmas presents were wrapped and hidden at a neighbor's house because there was no way she and Em could hide so many packages from their little army of detectives. Attending grandchildren's activities and sporting events was a great joy. She was always open to playing a game of cribbage.

As a proud and devout Catholic, Corky worked and volunteered at St. Thomas the Apostle, where she was a member for 60 years. Other passions included Catholic Charities, MCCL, Hmong refugee resettlement, Meals on Wheels, and numerous other causes, the most important one being her family.

Corky prayed the rosary daily, often multiple times, if she felt someone needed some extra prayers. As she became comfortably aware of her final days with us, she asked that we pray for her.

Memorials to St. Thomas the Apostle, donor's choice, or family. Visitation Friday, July 14th, 4-7 pm Gill Brothers, 5801 Lyndale Ave So, Minneapolis, MN. Funeral and Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday, July 15, at 11 am ~ St. Thomas the Apostle, 2914 West 44th St, Minneapolis, MN with visitation one hour before, followed by luncheon at the church and burial at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights.

Corky was a wonderful woman, and we will miss her every single day.

Gill Brothers 612-861-6088