Arlene Norma Kirkwold, wonderful wife, mother and homemaker, died on March 6, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Arlene is survived by her husband, Larry Kirkwold; her daughter Susie Hook and son-in-law Justin; her son Tom and daughter-in-law Lisa; her grandsons Trevor and Evan; and her brother Stan Rosby and sister-in-law Mary.
Arlene was born in Farwell, Minnesota on August 6, 1940 to Ole Rosby and Rosella Larson. She graduated from Glenwood High School (Minnesota) in 1958 and shortly thereafter was working in Minneapolis for International Harvester. In 1960 she met Larry at the wedding of Dean and Pat Pederson in Glenwood. Arlene and Larry were married on September 9, 1961 at Nora Lutheran Church in the countryside southwest of Farwell, MN.
Upon Larry’s graduation in 1964, they moved to Ogden, Utah, where Tom was born later that year. During the following year they relocated to Missoula, Montana where Larry continued working for the U.S. Forest Service. However, the private sector beckoned and in 1966 Larry accepted a job with Weyerhaeuser and moved the family to Federal Way, Washington (suburb of Seattle and Tacoma) where they lived from 1966 to 1976. The ten years on the Pacific Northwest were foundational to the family, as Susie was born in 1971 and the family flourished with wonderful friends, church, home and career.
In 1976, the family undertook the most important change that they would ever experience with their relocation from Federal Way, Washington to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Arlene and Larry would remain in Hot Springs for 41 years where they became deeply ingrained in their church, community and friends. Arlene discovered Westminster Presbyterian Church where the family remained members until 2017.
Arlene and Larry relocated to Springdale, Arkansas in April of 2017, which reunited the entire family within a mile of one another. This was the second great gift from God bestowed upon this family as we were given two extraordinary years to be close to one another. The first great gift was that Arlene recovered from a nearly fatal aneurysm in 2003 and we were gifted with her wonderful presence for another 15 ½ years.
Arlene enjoyed many wonderful years being a homemaker, wife and mother to Larry, Susie and Tom. In between her management of the family’s meals, after school activities, Larry’s work parties and financial management, she was able to volunteer in the community and become an accomplished flower arranger. Arlene was President of the Junior Auxiliary of Hot Springs, a long term volunteer at the Jackson House (crisis center) and served numerous terms as a member of the session of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Arlene’s skills with flower arranging earned her numerous awards in competition. However, she really loved serving others with her flower arrangements that were custom made for events and occasions.
Arlene enjoyed her family most of all. She especially enjoyed her grandchildren, Trevor and Evan. She had an especially strong connection with Trevor, and was endlessly amused and entranced by Evan’s character and charm. Her curiosity and optimism about her grandchildren’s future was lovingly communicated to them continuously. As a mother, she was completely dedicated. She was always very involved, helpful, concerned, constructive and loving. Susie and Tom were never lacking love and care from their mother.
Arlene was a fantastic life partner to Larry for 57 years. She continuously encouraged his work life by holding down the fort at home, hosting parties, attending work events and managing the home in an enthusiastic manner. Arlene managed through Larry’s absence while he was working for 6 weeks in Indonesia and then much later during his career peak when he frequently traveled to Seattle and overseas to Europe and Australia. Their love was unwavering and set a wonderful example for their children and grandchildren.
A funeral service is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on March 16th at First Presbyterian Church in Springdale, Arkansas. A later Celebration of Life service will be held in Minnesota during the summer at a place and time yet to be determined. She will be inurned in a columbarium at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs at a later date.
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