Arlene Frances Shewmaker was born in Kimball Township on July 19, 1927 the daughter of Percy and Mary (Sabolick) Shewmaker and the sister of Ruth. She grew up in Kimball Township and attended a country school before attending high school in Mountain Lake. Arlene was a graduate of Mountain Lake High school in 1945. This is where she met and fell in love with Martin "Bud" Franz. In their usual style of not liking lots of fuss or being the center of a celebration, they left notes for their parents, drove a Model T to Union City, Tennessee and were married on November 1, 1946. This union lasted 69 years ending with Bud's death in 2015.
She was known by many names; to the members of Bethel Mennonite Church, she was Arlene; by the Shewmaker side of the family, she was known as 'Jackie' and 'Frances'; on the Franz side of the family and her many friends, she was called 'Boots'. These names left her children never knowing which name to use in their introduction. Arlene was a fantastic cook with a huge love of life. Many friends and family timed their visits around meal times knowing that they'd be invited to sit around her table. Her table was a gathering place for a great meal, good stories and laughter. Arlene was a lifetime farmer and partner with Bud on their farm. She was an avid reader and a Mountain Lake Garden Club member. When reflecting on her life, Arlene said her happiest times were camping in the Black Hills. Arlene, Bud and their five children slept in a tent, cooked meals on a camp stove and sat together around a campfire. It was a time to make family memories. Arlene had a deep faith in God and never passed up an opportunity to share her knowledge of scripture.
Arlene Frances Franz, age 90, of Mountain Lake, Minn. died on October 5, 2017, at the Peterson Estates in Westbrook, Minn.
Left to cherish Arlene and her memories, are her children, Margaret (Jim Kliewer) Ringham, Elaine (Roger) Kvam, Linda Franz, Martin (Cookie) Franz and Andrew (Becky) Franz; numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, along with many family and friends. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Bud Franz; her parents; sister, and great-grandson.
Arlene would want us all to share our table, tell our stories and cherish God and family. Blessed be her memory.