Dr. Sonja U. Swenson


On November 24th, 2020, Dr. Sonja U Swenson passed away at home in Duluth, MN with family by her side after a yearlong battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Born August 22, 1972 in Eau Claire, WI, raised in Duluth MN until high school, when the family moved to Rochester, MN and graduated from Rochester John Marshall in 1990.

She attended Michigan Tech University where received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1993. Spent a year at Ohio State University working on a Masters in Preventative Medicine, then gained entrance into Medical School at University of MN, Minneapolis and received her MD in 1999. Dr. Swenson performed her Residency for Family Medicine in Duluth, MN and graduated in 2002.

Dr. Swenson worked at St. Luke’s Hospital from 2002 to 2019 when diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer had to stop. While working there, she received the Physician of the Year award from the Lake Superior Medical Society in 2014. She enjoyed working as a Family Practice Physician where she advocated for all her patients but was particularly involved and passionate about Quality Improvement for clinics, cardiac care, and hospice. She routinely volunteered on such committees.

Sonja enjoyed a lifelong passion for picking blueberries, scuba diving, snorkeling, traveling, & hiking, all with her husband & son, and especially towards the end, knitting. She was grateful for all the outpouring of love and caring from so many friends, family and patients during the past year while dealing with her cancer.

Proceeded in death by her father, Milo Swenson. Survived by her husband Kevin Ehrenreich and son Kyle. Also, mother, Judy Swenson, sister Lisa Swenson, and brother Loren Swenson (wife Debbie Glaser), niece Hanna Coulon, and niece Ada Swenson and nephew Milo Swenson.

Sonja’s family wishes to thank Dr. Homan Alkaeid and the entire oncology & Infusion departments, as well of the other medical professionals who provided care through her entire journey with cancer. A special thanks to the Hospice care and support team during her final days, affording her as much dignity and comfort as possible.

Memorials can be shared to Kyle Ehrenreich’s college fund at or to St. Luke’s Foundation for their hospice program. Gifts may be directed to the Dr. Sonja U Swenson Memorial Fund at St Luke’s Foundation, 1000 E. First Street Suite 102, Duluth, MN 55805 (

Due to COVID-19 a memorial service/celebration of the life of Sonja Swenson will be held at a later date, when family and friends can safely gather.

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