Mildred Swedberg

Obituary of Mildred Esther Swedberg

Mildred (Millie) Esther Gnerre Swedberg, a resident of Birmingham Green, passed away at 7:15 pm on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at the Prince William Medical Center due to complications from the COVID 19 virus. 

Millie was born in Norwood, Massachusetts, January 26, 1936. Her parents were Angelina and John Gnerre, both of Italian descent. Angelina had come to America at five years of age from Sicily. Millie had one sister, Ruth Gnerre Norton. Both sisters were trained as musicians from a very early age. Millie graduated from Norwood High School and then was a Music Theatre major at Boston University. She performed under the directorship of Arthur Fiedler in Boston. After college Millie pursued a career in music as a soloist in various choral groups. She was also a church music director.

In August of 1956 Millie married Robert Wallace Swedberg of Newton, Massachusetts. Millie is survived by their two children, Ruth Anne Swedberg Ulmer (spouse, Robert Albert Ulmer) currently of Clifton, Virginia, and Gregory John Swedberg who resides in Stamford, Connecticut as well as two grandchildren, Christan Ruth Grygas Coogle, (spouse, David Roy Coogle) and Devon Reese Swedberg. Millie is also survived by these family members who were so dear to her: two great -grandchildren, Anna Grace Coogle and Ethan James Coogle, her sister, Ruth Gnerre Norton and her children, Kathryn Mary Norton, Nancy Ellen Norton Hendricks and Joseph James Norton III, a grandnephew, Hans Joseph Hendricks and her cousin, Stella Freni and two of her three children, Joy and David.   

Millie’s passion was music. She devoted her life’s work to it. Through music she felt she could bring the listener closer to the heart of God. She was also a caring mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. And Millie was a lover of cats, really all animals. We will miss her presence with us but she will always be with us through her music and those memories we hold inside our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, Millie’s family has created a fundraiser to honor her memory and love of music. Funds will be donated to Boston University’s School of Music. Funds can be donated electronically at

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