Services for Arla Olson will be held on Saturday, August 2, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton.
Visitation will be held Friday evening, August 1, from 5-7 p.m. at the Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home, Moberg Chapel, in Clinton and will continue for one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
Pastor Bev McNeill will officiate and music will be provided by Bonnie Stotesbery and Randy Stotesbery. Honorary urn bearers will be Robert Fletcher, Mike Mills, Derek Ronning, Adam Olson, Brian Flynn and Robert Lee Greenwood. Burial will be in the Clinton City Cemetery.
Arla Ersted Olson was born in Donnelly, MN, on August 15, 1915, to C.C. and Anna Ersted. She attended the 4-room school in Donnelly, then completed the first 2 years of high school in Morris. Arla graduated from Moorhead High School in 1932. She then got her teaching certificate from Moorhead Teachers' College in 1934. After school, Arla began teaching in Donnelly, as well as in rural schools in Stevens & Big Stone counties. After marriage, Arla taught in rural schools around Clinton. In addition to teaching, she was a teller in the family bank in Donnelly.
On October 11, 1941, Arla was united in marriage to Lawrence R. Olson of Clinton. To this union two children, Anita and Andrew, were born. For 25 years, Arla and Lawrence lived on a farm southeast of Clinton. Because of its remoteness, they had no electricity, no indoor bathroom, and the water came from a windmill across the road from the farmhouse. Eventually they acquired those amenities.
In 1966, they moved to Clinton to the Olson family home, as Lawrence was unable to farm because of health reasons. Lawrence passed away in January of 1975.
Arla was a devoted church worker at Trinity Lutheran. There she served on the church council, all offices in the TLC Ladies' Aid, and in the Lutheran World Relief.
Arla taught for 14 years with the Title 1 program in Clinton Public School. After that, she entertained friends and family at her home, often having "front porch festivities" and a "lending library" after the bookmobile closed. She also traveled to help out family members with child raising and special projects.
Not all retirement events happened locally, however. Her first overseas trip after retiring was an art tour to Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. There she visited with relatives from her father's side of the family. One of her favorite travel stories was when she and another tourist accidentally went into the Russian Embassy in Turku, Finland. They were held behind locked doors until the officials decided that they were harmless and really belonged next door with the group touring the Finnish Cultural Museum.
There were many trips to North Carolina to visit her sister, Gladys. The two put on a few worldwide miles going to San Francisco, Miami, Barbados, Bermuda, and Mexico City. They later visited Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, and Tahiti. She also flew with Anita to Alaska. Her sister Blanche was always close in her heart as well and they were great friends, traveling to visit Blanche's daughter and family in Vermont.
The Good Samaritan Center in Clinton was an all-city project and almost everyone contributed to it initially, and kept it from being taken from the community. After some close calls it now continues as the Clinton Care Center. Arla was delighted to make it her residence when she could no longer live in her family home.
Arla died on July 25, 2014 at Holy Trinity Hospital, having reached the age of 98.
Arla is survived by her children: Anita (Ron) Ronning of Great Falls, MT and Andrew (Cheryl) Olson of Chanhassen, MN; four grandchildren, Derek Ronning; Amy (Brian) Flynn; Adam Olson; Brianne (Robert Lee) Greenwood; three great-grandchildren, Sean Greenwood; Ronan Flynn; and Hannah Flynn. It was a special part of her life that she got to meet her great-grandchildren! Arla is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sisters, Lou Roan, Gladys Reese, Blanche Johnson; and brother, Paul Ersted.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Preservation and Grounds Maintenance at St. Pauli Church in care of Trinity Lutheran Church, Box 374, Clinton, MN 56225.
Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home - Moberg Chapel - Clinton
Clinton, MN 56225
Friday, August 1, 2014
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Clinton City Cemetery
Clinton, MN 56225
Saturday, August 2, 2014