Middle River - Arlene M. Johnson, 84, Middle River, formerly of Newfolden and Thief River Falls, died peacefully on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 at her residence with her loving family at her side.
The funeral service for Arlene M. Johnson will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 at Westaker Free Lutheran Church in Newfolden, with Pastor Philip Rokke officiating. Interment will be held at the Westaker Cemetery, rural Newfolden.
Arlene Mae Westman was born on May 14, 1929 in West Valley Township, Marshall County, the oldest of six children born to Elvin and Julia (Haugen) Westman. She was baptized on June 6, 1929 into the Lutheran faith and also later confirmed into the Lutheran faith. Arlene attended school at Woodland School District 107 in West Valley Township.
On Nov. 27, 1949 she gave birth to a son, Myles. On April 16, 1955 she was united in marriage to James Henry Frisch in Newfolden. Jim and Arlene moved to Donaldson, leaving Myles in the loving care of her parents until his hero’s death in 1969 in Vietnam.
Following their marriage, Jim and Arlene moved to the Twin Cities where Arlene worked as a Presser at a Laundromat. In 1967, they relocated to the state of Washington where Jim was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Jan. 2, 1968. Arlene returned to the northwest Minnesota area making homes in Newfolden and Thief River Falls working in the sewing plants for Arctic Cat and taking in mending for her friends in her home.
Arlene proudly survived breast cancer in the late 1990s. In August 2011 she moved to her final residence at the Royal Manor in Middle River.
Arlene loved playing games, especially dice and canasta. Her door was always open and her coffee pot was always on. She also loved sewing and doing craftwork. Arlene had a fondness for cats and had several in her life, each unique, special and loved in their own way. Arlene will be remembered for her hospitality and her unconditional love for all of God’s creatures, human or furry. She loved her Royal Manor Family and her caregivers.
Survivors include her three precious godchildren, whom she considered to be her own, Cindy Rybakowski, Kelly Gregory and Calvin Rybakowski; siblings, Eldor Westman of Strandquist, Glen (Karen) Westman of Zimmerman, Dale (Verna) Westman of Rochester, Wash., Gloria Rybakowski of Middle River, and Julie (Garner) Erickson of Middle River; sister-in-law, Mae Frisch; special friends, Colleen and Leah Conway; and several beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is preceded in death by her parents; son, Cpl. Myles D. Westman; husband, James; several in-laws; and ex-husband, Donovan Johnson.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.