Mary Jane Arens, 90

Mary Jane Angeline Arens, 90, of Kingston, MN, passed away at Eastwood Senior Living in Mora, MN, Aug. 30, 2022.

Mary was born on her family farm near Kingston, MN, June 7, 1932, to Lydia and Edward Merila.

She and her siblings went to school in Kingston. By third grade, Mary was encouraged to speak English instead of Finnish. She graduated from Litchfield High School in 1950.

Mary Jane married Robert Arens in 1952. They spent time in Kansas while Bob was in the army, and Mary worked in retail during that time. They also lived in Minneapolis, MN, for a short time before moving to a farm in Kingston, where she was lucky to have spent 67 years.

They raised two children, Keith and Linda. Mary Jane and Keith continued the farming business after Bob passed away in 1989.

She worked at the Dassel State Bank throughout her career, working her way to a vice president position by the time she retired. She enjoyed the challenge of the ever-changing banking system, and the friends she made while she was there.

Mary Jane was very talented, and enjoyed spending time painting and crafting with friends. She loved the Saturday Swappers Meet, shopping in St. Cloud, MN, and traveling. She spent time sewing, collecting antiques, and making mints and wedding cakes. The most enjoyable part of all of this was being with her dear friends.

She enjoyed helping write grants for the Dassel Area Historical Society, donating time to church activities, and being a board member of the Lakeside Nursing Home in Dassel, MN. She spent many years donating time to the Kingston Auxiliary, where she would make potato salad for the turkey dinner, help with the fish fry, and assist with Memorial Day services and bingo.

She always enjoyed time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She usually had an art project to work on that she could send home with them. The great-grandchildren, Bryson and Hudson, liked to play with the toys she had collected through the years and eat her chocolate chip cookies.

We all are lucky to remember her as the great host at gatherings of family and friends. She loved when people stopped by for a visit, and always could quickly find something to serve them. Recently, we celebrated her 90th birthday, and her eyes lit up to see her friends and family. Mary Jane was truly loved by so many.

Mary Jane is survived by her son, Keith Arens (Cindy); daughter, Linda Parson; six grandchildren, Nick Arens, Kristom Parson, Chilsea Dietman (Trevor; great-grandchildren: Bryson and Hudson), Mara Sjodin (Ryan; great-grandchildren: Cael, Cooper, and Connor), Bobby Arens (Molly Hurrle) and Sarah Parson; brothers, Jim Merila (Elaine), Pete Merila (Phyliss), sister, Corlyss Simonson (Vernon); and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert; brother, Joe Merila; and son-in-law, Terry Parson.

A funeral services will take place Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, 2 p.m. at Ostmark Lutheran Church, with visitation starting at 1 p.m.

Interment will be at the Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Cemetery following the service, with refreshments being served at the Kingston Town Hall following internment.

Arrangements by Methven Funeral and Cremation Services, Dresser Methven Chapel, Mora, MN - www.methvenfuneralhome.com

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