July 14, 2024

Arlene Erlandson


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Arlene Erlandson, 98, of Elbow Lake, passed away peacefully Monday, March 18, 2024, at PioneerCare in Fergus Falls, but lives forever in the presence of Jesus her Savior. A Funeral Service was held March 23, 2024, at Bethlehem/West Elbow Lake Lutheran Church with Pastor Jeff Redlin officiating. Burial at West Elbow Cemetery, rural Elbow Lake.

Arlene Anna Erlandson was born February 23, 1926, in Fergus Falls, MN to Frank and Anna (Pedersen) Schmidt. She attended School District #31, in Orwell Township and graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1944. She began working right after high school at the Fergus Lumber & Fuel. Then in 1948, began doing bookkeeping at Joe Burris Motor Company in Fergus Falls.

Arlene and Milton Erlandson were married on May 9, 1948, in Trinity Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. They were married for sixty-seven years. Two daughters were born, Diane in 1950, and Barbara in 1951. After their marriage, Arlene was also employed as a bookkeeper for seventeen years with Schmidt Chevrolet of Elbow Lake. The couple continued to farm in Aastad Township until 1955. From 1955 to 1992, they made their home on a farm southwest of Wendell. In 1992, they moved to their home in Elbow Lake until 2011, when they moved to Maplewood Manor. After Milton’s death in 2015, Arlene moved to Park Gardens, in Fergus Falls. In 2021, she entered PioneerCare. 

She was a hard-working farm wife and mother. She had many interests, among them flower and vegetable gardening, canning, sewing, quilting, cross stitching, and scrapbooking. And in her kitchen, she found pleasure in cooking and baking; especially pies from blueberries they hand-picked in northern MN. Arlene enjoyed reading, and was a regular visitor to the public library. Arlene and Milt enjoyed league bowling, and both were skilled whist players. They greatly enjoyed traveling, making multiple trips to Norway to visit relatives there. She was involved in the community, serving at the food shelf, and the Senior Center as well as the Flekkefest Sister City Committee. In her last years, she found enjoyment playing UNO with her great-grandsons. She seldom missed bingo at PioneerCare.

Arlene is preceded in death by her parents, husband Milton, one daughter Diane Lister, siblings Edward and Viola Schmidt, Alvin and Lucille Schmidt, Adeline and Herbert Rose, and Marie and Russell Johnson, special sister-in-law Marion Erlandson, and many in-laws.

She is survived by her daughter Barbara (David) Ellis of Fergus Falls; five grandchildren Michelle (significant other, Terry) Ellis, Shane Lister, Dawn (Jim) Pearson, Jennifer (Ryan) Nordlund and Tim (Julie) Ellis; twenty great-grandchildren Mallory, McKenna, Micah, Olivia (Ty), Levi (Molly), Annelise, Luke, Elijah, Brielle, Charolette, Caroline, London, Natalie, Kendra, Avery, Matea, Walter, Seth, Jake and Kyle; one great-great-grandson James, along with many nieces and nephews. Family was very important to Arlene.

Arrangements by Erickson-Smith Funeral Home of Elbow Lake.

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