LAYTON -- Married women are beautiful, important and strong enough to do anything.
That's Becky Swanson's philosophy, and, she said, she's proof that no matter what life hands you, it's all up to you the way you handle it.
Swanson was named this year's Mrs. Davis County. She will go on to compete in the Mrs. Utah America Pageant next spring.
Raised in foster care in Andover, Kansas, from the age of 6, Swanson has overcome more than one struggle in her life. In 2008, her daughter Aubrey was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 17. In 2010, her brother Michael was killed in an auto accident at the age of 45. Just months later, the woman she considered to be her mother died of complications from an unexpected stroke.
"So many of us today have or are currently dealing with many types of struggles and tragedies in our lives and seek various ways to cope with each situation," Swanson said. "I know I am not alone. It is times like these that we surround ourselves with family, friends, co-workers and even strangers to connect us to one another. We are not meant to go through this life alone."
One reason Swanson decided to run for Mrs. Davis County, she said, was to keep a promise to her deceased daughter.
"She and I wanted to compete in some mother-daughter pageants together and she asked that I try a married women pageant," Swanson said. "Promise kept."
As Mrs. Davis County, Swanson said she is trying to bring awareness and help to troubled teens, wounded warriors and the elderly. She is also a fierce believer that parents and members of the community are responsible for taking care of children and the elderly.
"We must be involved in our children's lives, take care of ourselves so we can do that, assist those in need, no matter what the need ... and we as adults are responsible for taking care of our parents," she said.
Swanson, a licensed real estate broker, lives with her husband Jeff and two children, Cannon and Kristyn. She also has a dog, cat, guinea pig and partridge. She believes pageants are important for many women for many reasons.
"It could be as simple as, it is on their bucket list, a commitment, desire to lose weight, begin living a healthier lifestyle, prove to themselves they can," she said. "Maybe a husband or family member feels they should or could bring out their personal strengths."
In the Mrs. Utah Pageant, held in March, Swanson will be judged on personal interview, evening gown and swimsuit. The pageant website states that it begins each year as a quest for health and beauty which becomes an inspiring discovery of the attributes that make the total woman truly beautiful.
"Mrs. Utah America is defined by her strength of character, her pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment and her implicit beauty," Swanson said. "These qualities comprise the essence of Mrs. Utah America. I feel I am this person, inside and out. I know I am a leader and feel that I have the desire and drive to incorporate my attributes and abilities to the married women and fulfill whatever it is they as women of Utah desire to see happen, no matter what platform. I am here for them."