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Arlene Harriet Powers (Larson)
Age 89 of Woodbury, MN passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family on July 18, 2020. Born in Omaha, NE on April 9, 1931.
Preceded in death by infant brother, Reuben E. Larson; son, Lee J. Powers; parents, Elma C. Korleski (Lane) and George E. Larson; brother, Wayne E. Larson; and father of her children, Leland H. Powers; brother-in-law, Evan B. Conway.
Survived by daughters, Catherine L. Powers (David C. Bower) and April E. Powers (Christina G. Conforti); grandson, Daniel P. (Kristen) Spielman; great grandsons, Caleb, Luke, and Nathan Spielman; sister, Evelyn C. Conway; sister-in-law, Elaine M. Larson, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other dear relatives.
Twice during childhood, Arlene lived with her great uncle Alvin H. Anderson (Bakke) and great aunt “Hannah” Inanda (Wold) in Martell, WI. Arlene also lived in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Germany, California, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, and New York.
Arlene excelled academically and received a bachelor’s degree in business and psychology and a master’s degree in social work. She worked in accounting and finance, and later in life as a social worker. Arlene loved history and civic involvement. She volunteered for the League of Women Voters (LWV) and was an election judge. She served on the Minnesota state LWV board and as president of the Houston/Galveston TX LWV; she testified before governmental agencies about water quality issues. As a social worker, she interned at the Houston VA Medical Center where she worked with Vietnam veterans, directed and reorganized a community nursing home, worked at the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, eventually becoming director of her unit, and volunteered as a disaster crisis counselor.
Arlene enjoyed music immensely and sang in her church choir and played in the bell choir. Her faith was deeply meaningful and she became a lay Stephen Minister in her congregation to care for people during times of need.
Arlene loved to travel. She moved to Darmstadt, Germany after World War II to marry Leland H. Powers. She traveled to Russia with the LWV for an educational exchange program, and vacationed in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Arlene participated in numerous trips to Europe for D-Day remembrances with members of the 508 Paratroop Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, accompanying her dear friend and partner, paratrooper Jack W. Schlagel. Arlene lived a full, engaged, and joyful life.
We wish to thank the staff at Stonecrest Presbyterian Home and Optage Hospice for their kind and devoted care of Arlene.
A private family graveside service will take place at Rush River Lutheran Church, River Falls, WI at a later date. Arlene’s son, Lee Jonathan (d. April 12, 1989), will be inurned alongside her.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Friends of the Martell School House, (c/o Treasurer Dianne Erickson, 48 County Road Y, Baldwin, WI 54002) or Rush River Lutheran Church (N8623 County Y, River Falls, WI 54022).
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