Ellen Swendsen

Ellen Louise Merka Jones Swendsen 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday December 27, 2018.  She was born in Bryan, Texas on March 27, 1933 to Sam and Ella Cahill Merka who were lifetine residents of Bryan.  Loiuse was the third generation for the Cahill family. Her mother is from Semetana, Texas. She settled there in 1871, from Ireland. She arrived by boat into the Galveston area, then settled in Galveston.  Now going into the family’s sixth generation a proud heritage of Louise’ maternal (Cahill) side which is still a part of the family to this day.

Louise attended Stephen F. Austin, class of 1951.  Upon graduation, her best friend introduced her to who would become her first husband and father of her 2 children, Bobby Ray Jones.  Louise was a wife and mother for fourteen years until she became single. Now a single mother she attended nursing school to become an LVN and obtained her license in 1964 and worked as a nurse until her retirement.

She met and married her second husband Vernon Swenson in 1968 and moved to Palacios, Texas with him for his job and took her two children with them.  She returned to Bryan after two years and continued to work in the nursing field at retirement homes and nursing homes, Sherwood and Crestview.

Louise also was a rancher living on her family farm and raising cows and calves.  Her hobbies included cooking, photography, travel and gardening.  She had a green thumb.

She and her partner of 35 years W.R. Wendel, until his passing.  They traveled all over the western side of the United States and also Canada.  They traveled all of the state parks in California, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

She is preceded in death by her parents Sam and Ella Merka, her first husband Bobby Jones, her partner of 35 years W.R. Wendel and her first cousin Johnny Ferrell.  She is now reunited with them all.

Louise survived by her daughter, Patricia K. Jones (P.J.) and her son Robert Mark Jones, daughter in law Patty (Spittler) Jones, three grandsons, Michael Matthew Jones, Mason Micah Jones and Madison Mark Jones and his wife Sofia Adalis Jones and great grand daughter Leila Jade Jones, Due April 29, 2019.

Our family would like to thank the staff and Mrs. D. Blackmon for the love and care of our mother. We would also like to thank the nurses and staff of Brazos Valley Hospice for the care and devotion to Louise. Thank you to all family and friends who came and visited with her during her time at Gracie House.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Bryan.

Family and friends are invited to a time of visitation from 6 to 8pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center, 3001 S College Ave in Bryan, with rosary recited at 7pm.  Her life will be honored during a Funeral Mass at 10am Thursday, January 3, 2019 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bryan, with interment to follow at Smetana Cemetery. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Centers of Bryan College Station.







  1. Patty and Mark we are so sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of Louise and of course you too.
    We hope you find comfort and strength at this difficult time. We send love. Mary Frances too.

  2. I am Carol Ann king daughter, Penne Pathorski. My mother was married to Johnny Ferrell. I would like to say how very sorry I was to find out about your mother’s passing Mark. My mom has not contacted your mother for a couple of years but in 2014 they had been talking back and forth. But my mother suffered with being a diabetic and she had Alzheimer’s disease also. In 2018, I found your moms phone number that was in September! I wanted to see if mom would have wanted to call but she denied me. So I didn’t make the call. I wished I would have because I had talked to with your mom, and I wanted to let her know what was going on with my mom, they had been going down memory lane together. So tonight I’m looking your moms number up so I could let her know that my mom passed away on November 14 2018. And Wow! I loved your mom and I loved mine so much. They will be missed. Was wondering if you or your sister might call me.
    254 227 2822. May God be with us all!


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