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Arlene Kienholz Feb. 7, 1921 - Jan. 22, 2013

Arlene Kienholz Feb. 7, 1921 - Jan. 22, 2013

BIRD ISLAND - Arlene Kienholz, age 91, of Bird Island died Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at the Tekawitha Living Center in Sisseton, SD. Funeral services will be Saturday, January 26 at 3 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Bird Island with Rev. Byron Perrine officiating. Burial will be at the Bird Island City Cemetery. Visitation is Friday, January 25, from 4-7 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Bird Island with a prayer service and sharing of memories at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues at the church for one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Tekawitha Living Center, 6 East Chestnut Street, Sisseton, SD 57262, or Bird Island United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 190, Bird Island, MN 55310.

Helen Arlene (Mattson) Kienholz was born February 7, 1921, at Lakefield, MN, to Helmer and Helen (Thostenson) Mattson. Arlene’s family moved to Lake Lillian, MN, where her mother passed away when Arlene was 4 years old. She and her 3 older brothers were raised by her father and her mother’s widowed sister “Auntie” Julia Sagness along with Julia’s son Thurman. Arlene had many fond memories of growing up in "The Woods" in Lake Lillian where she attended elementary school. She graduated from Bird Island High School in 1938 where she played clarinet in the high school band. She attended Lutheran Bible Institute for a year and returned to Lake Lillian where she worked along side her father at the First State Bank of Lake Lillian until the age of 25. After he safely returned from WWII, Arlene married Marfred Kienholz on June 29, 1946, at the First Lutheran Church in Lake Lillian and they were blessed with five children. They lived and farmed at rural Bird Island until 1998 when they moved into town. As a homemaker, Arlene was a skilled seamstress, sewing clothes for herself and her daughters as well as draperies and other furnishings for her home. She enjoyed quilting, crocheting, and other needle arts. She made many afghans for her children and grandchildren and some of her work was exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair. Arlene’s faith was very important to her so she applied her musical talents to serve as a church organist and pianist from the time she was 14 years old, playing for countless services, weddings and funerals over the years. Arlene was a faithful member of Bird Island United Methodist Church and active in many capacities, most visibly as the church organist for over 40 years. She was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary and hosted circle meetings at her home as well as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Arlene and Marfred were members of the Dip and Dive Square Dance Club and Arlene belonged to a Scrabble club. She enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad, often to visit her children. Arlene loved playing Scrabble, working crossword puzzles, baking, and spending time with grandchildren. Her family fondly remembers her delicious homemade jams, remarkable ability to patch jeans and overalls, and especially her quick wit and great sense of humor which seemed to sharpen as she aged.

Arlene is survived by her five children: James (and Susan) Kienholz of Holyoke, CO, Judy (and Randy) Beumer of Browns Valley, MN, Sharon (and Mark) Koenig of Spartanburg, SC, Roger (and Kristin) Kienholz of Lake Crystal, MN, and David (and Carmen) Kienholz of Bird Island, her 12 grandchildren, and her 9 great-grandchildren. Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Marfred, her three brothers: Norman Mattson, Harold Mattson, and Harvey Mattson; and her close cousin Thurman Sagness.

Blessed Be Her Memory