Mary Jo Swanson, age 71 of Charlotte, died at home on Sunday November 25, 2018 after a 9 year battle with breast cancer. Born in Alma, Michigan on October 1, 1947, she was the daughter of Florence Belle and Joseph Edward Sawkins. Raised as a small town girl in the mid-west, she remained true to those basic values throughout her entire life. A graduate of Marygrove College in Detroit with a junior year immersion at Laval University, Quebec City, she was a public high school French teacher. She married her high school sweetheart in 1972 and they shared a life together for 46 years until her death. They were literally inseparable. She loved the symphony, trying new cuisine, walking on the local greenway, yoga, picnics with her grandchildren, setting a festive holiday table, coming up with the appropriate Hallmark card, and spending time at their lake cottage. She is remembered for her grace, kindness, quiet unassuming demeanor, unselfishness, and kind words to people at just the right time. Her greatest achievement however, was her devotion to family and shaping of daughters Catherine and Erin. Strong independent women; not by accident, but by example. She is survived by her devoted husband Mark R Swanson MD, loving daughters Catherine J Swanson (Levy Vargas) of Durham, NC, Erin M Stone MD (Roger Stone MD) of Charlotte, grandson Bryce R Stone and granddaughter Cora B Stone, both of Charlotte, sister in law Sara Plowman of Green Valley, AZ and cousin John Bock and his son James of South Lyon, MI.
The family will receive friends on Friday November 30, 2018 at Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, 1111 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203 from 10:00-11:00. A Celebration of Life will begin in the chapel at 11:00 am with internment to follow at Sharon Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra at www.charlottesymphony.org or the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at www.komen.org. Arrangements in the care of the Hankins and Whittington Funeral Service. Please share online condolences at www.hankinsandwhittington.com.