Thelen Funeral Home: Obituaries

Thelen Funeral Home

Fern Arlene Nielson Fern Arlene Nielson
(April 4, 1926 - August 2, 2013)

Fern Arlene Nielson, 87, of Redfield, SD, died Friday, August 2, 2013 at Eastern Star Home in Redfield.

Her funeral will be Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Reverend Brian Wasmoen will officiate.

Burial will be in Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery near Midway, SD at 4:30 p.m.

Visitation will be Friday from 5-7:00 the Eastern Star Home Chapel. with a pray service at 7:00 p.m.

Arlene was born on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1926 at Turton, South Dakota to Bill and Hattie (Thorson) Spear. Arlene attended Turton Country School and Doland High School. Arlene married Orlyn Nielson of Yankton County, SD on September 28, 1943 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Parsonage in Redfield, SD. To this 57-year union were born three daughters: Sharon (Johnny) Caruthers of Ocala, FL; Janice (Greg) Benning of Brookings, SD; Peggy Nielson of Rapid City, SD; and one son: Larry (Jeni) Nielson of Tulare, SD.

Arlene accompanied Orlyn to Orlando, FL for his basic training for World War II. After her husband was discharged from the service, they farmed in the Frankfort, SD area for 17 years, and then moved to Tulare, SD where they purchased and operated a farm. While she worked hard helping Orlyn with every aspect of farming, she thoroughly enjoyed it. They moved off the farm and built a home in Tulare in 1987. They both continued to assist on the farm until Orlyn’s death in 2001. She moved to the Doland area after marrying Duane Muxen in 2003. After his death in 2009, she lived in the Peterson-Bahde-Coleman Apartments in Redfield until she moved into the Eastern Star Home in 2012.

She was a Charter Member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Community Memorial Hospital, Redfield, SD; as well as a member of the Tulare Legion Auxiliary, Redfield VFW Auxiliary, Social Hour Extension Club, and Tulare Tuesday Afternoon Card & Coffee Club. Her favorite stories were memories of ice-skating on the creek to her country school and of riding her horse standing up. She enjoyed softball, square dancing, bowling, and playing cards. She also enjoyed traveling to bowling tournaments and was a member of the 600 Club. Many sewing projects were created on her Singer sewing machine. She patched jeans with a technique a tailor would envy, and made doll clothes, square dance dresses, and quilts. Embroidery, knitting, and crocheting were crafts she enjoyed later in life. The many embroidered dishtowels were hemmed with the zigzag stitch of her sewing machine. Her little coin purse was always heavy with coins she won by playing her favorite card game, Thirteen, with ladies at Tulare, Doland, and Redfield. Her apple pie, with her signature “A” carved in the top crust, was a delicious taste that will be missed.

Arlene is survived by her four children, 12 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by 1 brother-in-law and 4 sisters-in-law: Lemoine and Joyce Jensen of Viborg, SD; Olive Learing of Sioux Falls, SD; Phyllis Nielson of Viborg, SD; and Joan Nielson of Mission Hill, SD; and many special cousins, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers: infant Floyd, Rolland, Gerald, and Berwyn Spear; her two husbands; one son-in-law Thomas Grimm; one Benning grandson; and two Brancato great-grandchildren.