Funeral services celebrating the life of Wilma Arens, age 82, of Glencoe took place Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Glencoe.
Wilma died Monday, Feb. 23, 2009, at the Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care.
The Rev. Kristi Schiroo officiated at the funeral service. The organist was Twyla Kirkeby, and soloists were Esther Marks, who sang “He Touched Me;” and Wally Eisenschenk, who sang “Green, Green Grass of Home” and “Amazing Grace.” The congregational hymns were “How Great Thou Art” and “Soon and Very Soon.” Interment was in the Ferguson Cemetery.
Serving as casket bearers were Wilma’s grandchildren: Brian Arens, Ben Arens, Desseray Fillbrandt, Kenny Fillbrandt, Brandi Breuer, Samantha Arens, Keith Arens, Allison Koehler, Bailey Storm, and Joe Breuer.
Wilma was born Feb. 19, 1927, in rural Meeker County, the daughter of Inor and Cecelia (Hagen) Olson. She was baptized March 15, 1927, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grove City, and confirmed into the faith at the same church April 6, 1941.
Wilma graduated from Litchfield High School in 1944, and completed teacher training in Litchfield during that summer. She later earned her teaching degree, in 1975, from Mankato State University.
She was united in marriage with John B. Arens Aug. 27, 1949, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grove City. The couple lived in Alabama while John was in the National Guard.
They then returned to Minnesota and lived in Paynesville, Litchfield, New London, Lester Prairie, and rural Young America, before moving to Glencoe in 2005.
Wilma taught kindergarten through eighth grade for four years at District 12 in Eden Valley, and then at Litchfield Public School for two years. She then took time off to raise her five children.
She returned to teaching at New Germany for 13 years as a first and second grade teacher and principal. After that school closed, she went to Southview Elementary in Waconia, where she finished out her teaching career in May of 1992, after 36 years in education.
Wilma was a member of the Plato Lions Club since 1991, where she served as president and zone chairman for Region 1 in District 5M2. She earned the Melvin Jones Award, and participated in many Lions Club activities and conventions.
Wilma served as a Sunday school teacher and as a member of the Women’s Quilting Group at her church, Christ Lutheran Church in Glencoe. She loved to help out whenever and wherever she could.
She moved to Orchard Estates in Glencoe in 2006, and the past few months, she had been at Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care.
Wilma enjoyed life and was a very active person. She loved to go to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Union in Rolleg, MN every Labor Day, where she enjoyed working in the old-time schoolhouse and donating her hand-embroidered dishtowels. She loved to garden, and her favorite flower to plant was the petunia. She also enjoyed being outside, and couldn’t resist a chance to get on the lawnmower to mow her three and one-half acres.
Wilma also loved to bake and share her sour cream raisin bars and apple pie slices, which would instantly disappear at any function she attended. She enjoyed going out and being with people, especially seeing the students she had taught.
Wilma’s greatest passion in life was her grandchildren. She loved going to their activities, and having them stay overnight. Being a part of their lives was a joy to her.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and a great-granddaughter, Taylor Fillbrandt.
Wilma is survived by her children, Roger Arens (wife Jackie) of Plainview, Julie Fillbrandt (husband Clark) of Glencoe, Rich Arens (wife Joy) of Waverly, Gary Arens of Watertown, and Janice Storm (husband Larry) of Milbank, SD; her grandchildren, Brian Arens, Ben Arens, Desseray Fillbrandt, Kenny Fillbrandt, Brandi Breuer (husband Joe), Samantha Arens, Keith Arens, Allison Koehler, and Bailey Storm; as well as other relatives and friends.
Arrangements were with the Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel in Glencoe. For online guestbook, please visit www.mcbridefuneralchapels.com.