Arlene Della Bengtson, 88, of Willernie, died Sunday, Sept. 22, at Ebenezer Ridges Care Center in Burnsville.
Arlene was born to Arthur and Edith Hanson Sept. 10, 1925 in Chengwatana Township outside of Pine City, Minn. She was one of 10 children. Arlene attended Pine City and Hinckley schools. The small-town farm girl left for the big city of Minneapolis but returned home to meet her future husband. On May 6, 1949, she married Willard F. Bengtson, of Rush City. They were married for 36 years until his death in Dec. of 1985.
Arlene and Willard spent the first few years of their marriage in the western part of the state. In May of 1952, they purchased a small two-room cabin in Willernie, Minn.. They remodeled the cabin and added on rooms to create a comfortable home. This was Arlene’s home until August of this year.
Arlene had a number of jobs but went back to Butwin’s Sportswear in 1952. She continued to work in the supply room there until her retirement in 1987.
Land was purchased and a cabin was built on Horseshoe Lake near McGregor in 1964. Arlene and Willard liked to get up early to go fishing. During the winter months they would ice fish on White Bear Lake. Arlene enjoyed flea markets and garage sales. She even had sales at her home up through last fall. Arlene had a green thumb, especially for indoor plants and flowers. She loved to sew and mend.
In December of 1955 their daughter, Barbara, was born. Arlene enjoyed hosting big family birthday parties for Barb and they hosted many garage sales together. Arlene and Willard welcomed son-in-law Lee Hegfors to the family in 1978. Arlene’s granddaughter, Kimberly, was born in 1986 and grandson Jeremy was born in 1990. Arlene so loved spending time with her family. She enjoyed playing 500 with Kim and talking and going out for a meal with Jeremy. She greatly valued the close relationships she had with Kim and Jeremy and enjoyed the many conversations they shared. Arlene watched her grandchildren grow up into independent adults. She was so very proud of her only two grandkids.
After Willard’s death, Arlene spent a number of winter seasons in Harlingen, Texas with her brother-in-law, Vern Brinker. After his passing, Arlene would travel to her cabin with her brother Joyce. He would keep her company while she had her yard sales and did some fishing. In her retirement you could find Arlene watching Wheel of Fortune.
Arlene was a social butterfly. She enjoyed talking with neighbors and strangers as she walked to the post office. She was full of questions. While in Ebenezer Transitional Care of Burnsville, she kept up with the family lives of many staff members. Everyone loved her smile, her laugh and her zest for life.
Arlene is survived by her daughter Barbara (Lee) Hegfors; grandson Jeremy Hegfors, of Burnsville; granddaughter Kimberly Hegfors and her fiancé Tyrel Lerum, of Richfield; sisters Virginia DeRocker, of Sandstone; Jane Kurkowski of Boyd, Minn., Gladys D’Angelo, of Beaverton, Ore.; and Betty McNeil, of Lewes, Del.;, sister-in-law Josephine Hanson, of Pine City; and many nieces and nephews.
Arlene is preceded in death by her husband Willard F. Bengtson; parents Arthur and Edith Hanson; sister June Sommerfeld; brothers: George, Leo, Alton and Joyce Hanson; sister-in-law Annette Hanson; and brothers-in-law Bert DeRocker, Al Kurkowski, Lenny D’Angelo, Don Sommerfeld and Jack McNeil.
Reverend Laurie O’Shea officiated the funeral service on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 2 p.m. at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rush City. Music was provided by Marilyn Schoolmeesters and Dianne Kirchberg. Visitation was one hour prior to the service. Interment was in the William Taylor Cemetery of Rush City. Casket bearers included: Jeremy Hegfors, Dennis Hanson, Bert DeRocker Jr., Eddie DeRocker, Gene Bengtson and Gerald Simpson.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Funeral and Cremation Service – Olson Chapel of Rush City: www.funeralandcremationservice.com.