Cover photo for Charlene Swain (Brownlee)'s Obituary
Charlene Swain (Brownlee) Profile Photo

Charlene Swain (Brownlee)

June 1, 1945 — October 27, 2020

Charlene Swain (Brownlee)

Charlene Swain, 75, of Griswold, Iowa, formerly of Lewis, Iowa, died Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa.

Charlene was born during a pounding rainstorm at the old Massena Hotel in Massena, Iowa, on June 1, 1945, to Karl and Sylvia (Yarrington) Brownlee. She and her two sisters and three brothers were raised on a farm between Bridgewater and Fontanelle, Iowa.

After attending school, Charlene worked at Schuler Manufacturing where she met her husband to be, Morris Swain, whom she wed on February 24, 1973, at the First United Methodist Church in Massena. She and Morris continued working together at Schuler until Charlene began working at Lyman Produce. Within a few years, the family moved to a farm south of Cumberland on Highway 92 where Charlene tackled the most rewarding job of her life as a full-time homemaker, Mom, and caretaker for her parents. Together with the kids, they mowed yards and cemeteries and trimmed trees with Morris in the evenings.

As the family grew, they moved into Cumberland where they remained for many years. Together, Charlene and Morris continued with the lawn service and tilling gardens for throughout southwest Iowa. Charlene was always known as a hard worker who enjoyed gardening, making the best homemade noodles for family reunions, making homemade V-8 juice, and even processing chickens. Her kids remember her large strawberry patch, picking gooseberry’s, sometime eating too many while they were at it, for Charlene’s favorite, gooseberry pie. During many days you could find her watching game shows and keeping up on the latest Soap Opera; not happy when they stopped due to COVID-19.

Charlene was a happy person and her smile was contagious. She could usually be found giggling or laughing with those around her despite her trepidation when the calendar would show an upcoming Friday the 13th. She loved her family and would spend as much time with them as she could.

Charlene is survived by her husband of 47 years, Morris; daughter, Teresa (Mark) Ericksen; son, Richard (Roxann Peron) Swain; grandchildren, Jordan, Tiffany, Lucas and Mallory; great-grandchildren, Kiesta and Infinity; sister, Darlene (Dale) Bowman; brother, Russell Brownlee; sisters-in-law, Glenda Brownlee and Carolyn Brownlee; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Ronald Brownlee, Robert Brownlee and Marlene (Norris) Baumfalk; and sister-in-law, Patty Brownlee.

Visitation with the family present will be held from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 31, 2020, at Roland Funeral Home.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2020, at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic. Burial will take place prior to the service at 1:00 p.m., at Victoria Township Cemetery, south of Massena.

The family is requesting masks be worn at the visitation and service.

Roland Funeral Home is caring for Charlene’s family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at

Charlene Swain

June 1, 1945 - Massena, Iowa

October 27, 2020 - Atlantic, Iowa

At the age of 75 years, 4 months & 26 days

2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2020
Roland Funeral Home - Atlantic, Iowa

Pastor Casey Pelzer
Cumberland Methodist Church - Cumberland, Iowa

“The Old Rugged Cross”
“In the Garden”
by Alan Jackson

“Go Rest High On That Mountain”
By Vince Gill

Richard Swain
Mark Ericksen
Shayne Brownlee
Kevin Brownlee
Lucas Foster
Bill Swain

Jordan Foster
Jeff Brownlee
Mallory Ericksen
Tiffany Swain

1:00 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2020
Victoria Township Cemetery - Massena, Iowa
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charlene Swain (Brownlee), please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Starts at 2:00 pm

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Victoria Township/Cass Co.

, IA

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