Arlene Grace Erickson was born on January 22, 1921, in Highwater Township near Lamberton, Minnesota, to Enga Susanna and Ludwig Bernhard Erickson. She died on May 10, 2018, at the age of 97, at Mount Olivet Careview Nursing Home in Minneapolis, MN.
On April 17, 1941, at the Erickson family farm, Arlene married Arthur John Fredrickson. They farmed in Highwater Township until Art died in April 1948. Arlene then moved into Lamberton. She and her three daughters, Cheryl, Elona and Paulette lived next door to her Mother, Enga Erickson, who was a blessing and great support to the young family.
On August 20, 1952, Arlene married Vernon Wendland. They had two children, Danny and Vickie.
Arlene was a very strong and independent woman who enjoyed working. She cleaned houses and painted for many clients, including the Lamberton High School. She worked for a few clients until she was 80 years old, when she finally decided it was time to retire. She also worked at the Valley View Nursing Home for many years. She loved the residents and they loved her fun spirit.
Another passion of Arlene’s was gardening. She and Vernie grew and canned many vegetables. She loved the many flowers surrounding her home. She would get up early in the morning and tend to her garden, but only after putting on her make-up and curling her hair. She never left the house without her make-up and hair in perfect condition! Then she would go to her clients’ homes to clean or paint. After work, a bath and supper, she would go for a walk around Lamberton. She had so much energy!
She lived alone after Vernie died in July 2004. She was pretty self sufficient up until the last year or two in her home. She loved mowing her lawn and did so until she was about 91! She was reluctant to hire someone else, as she thought they wouldn’t do it well enough.
November 11, 2013, Arlene moved to The Maples in Springfield. In April of 2015, she moved to St. John’s Nursing Home, and then to Mount Olivet Careview in Minneapolis on May 2, 2016. She went from being a “small town girl” to a “big city girl”!
Arlene had a fun sense of humor. She loved soap operas, flowers, sweatshirts, tennis shoes, jeans, Kirby Puckett, making banana bread and yodeling! She would only wear a dress for a very special occasion. Her family was the greatest joy in her life. She had many fun trips to Arizona, California and Florida to visit the out-of-state families! She made many visits to the Graff family in Minneapolis too. She loved to walk around Lake Harriet!
Arlene was preceded in death by her husbands Art Fredrickson and Vernon Wendland, parents, Ludwig and Enga Erickson, Brothers; Russell (Anna) and Owen (Edna), sister Annona (Lloyd) Halter, brother-in-law Harold Hawkins.
She leaves behind her sister Lucille Hawkins (100 years / CO), daughters, Cheryl (Donald) Johnson (New Smyrna Beach, Florida), Elona (Bruce) Graff (Mpls, MN), Paulette (Barry) Pietz (San Tan Valley, AZ), Vickie Anderson (Phoenix, AZ) and son Danny (Nona)Wendland (Mesa, AZ). Grandchildren: Jill (David) Estrella, Christy (Tony) Pantuso, Michael Johnson, Erin (Steve) Hammersley, Michelle (Jay) Rickard-Hempe, Jeremy (Sarah) Graff, Shane (Beth) Pietz, Staci (Ian) Pietz and Travis (Amber) Pietz, Adrienne (Mark) Adams, Chad Wendland, Derek and Ethan Anderson, many great and great great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Thank you to the wonderful staff at The Maples, St John’s, Mount Olivet Careview and Grace Hospice who have loved and cared for our Mother, Arlene Grace these past 4 ½ years. We are forever grateful. She was so fortunate to have you all in her life.