Arlene Wilmes


Arlene Wilmes Arlene Wilmes age 91 of Tyler passed away Monday, March 23, 2015 at the Pipestone Good Samaritan Home. Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 27 at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. Visitation is 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Tyler Area Funeral Home with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Friday. Online condolences may be placed at Stephens Funeral Service – Tyler Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Arlene Ardis (Jensen) Wilmes was born May 3, 1923 to Willie and Hazel (Evans) Jensen in Hendricks Township, Lincoln County, Minnesota. At age six, Arlene went to Hendricks to live with her Grandfather Oscar Evans and Aunt Violet (Bydie) so that she could attend school. In 1932, Hazel married Daniel Zeman (Arlene’s stepfather) and they lived on a farm west of Hendricks. Arlene went to country school by the Singsass Lutheran Church and eventually received her diploma on December 8, 1981 at SMSU in Marshall, MN, at the age of 58. Arlene worked in Pipestone at Longstreet Laundry then moved and worked in Kansas City and at the Ford Plant in Independence, MO during the war. In 1944, Arlene returned to Pipestone and worked at the S & L store. On November 16, 1945 Arlene was married to Merl A. Wilmes in Tyler. While he served in the United States Army they lived in New Rochelle, NY. After Merl was honorably discharged from the service they returned to Minnesota and farmed by Russell, later buying their small farm west of Florence. They had three children Rita, Bradley, and Becky. Arlene worked at Southwest Dairy for fourteen years as a bookkeeper and for several years she and Merl mowed the cemetery near Florence and planted and took care of all the evergreen trees. Arlene was interested in learning and took several classes at SMSU in Marshall and at SDSU in Brookings, SD. Poetry was an interest and she published two books of poetry, “Seasons of My Heart” in 1983 and “Sunshine and Shadows” in 1990. Arlene was a member of Danebod Lutheran Church and enjoyed quilting. She was a member of the Danebod Ladies Aid, American Legion Auxiliary, and charter member of the Country Side Scribblers and Night Writer’s group.

Arlene is survived by her children: Bradley (Peggy) Wilmes of Tyler and Becky Serie of Marshall; grandchildren: Heather (Dwayne) Hickman of Watkins, Heidi (Jason) Oslund of Litchfield, Nicole (Daniel) Renkly of Lake Benton, Tifanie (Craig) Hess of Tyler, Tristan (Danielle) of Sherburne, Kristal of Lakeville, and Beau Serie; great grandchildren: Kayla, Melissa, Hunter, Samantha, Michael, Payton, Brooks, Braxton, Andrea, Adelynn, Morgan, Jacob, Jackson, Collin, and Bennett; great great grandchild Payton; sisters Charlotte and Danene; and brothers Dan and Jesse. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Merl, sister Delores, daughter Rita Schrum, and granddaughter Bridget Serie.


  1. Bev Veltkamp says:

    Our sympathy to each of you. She loved her poetry and wrote some great pieces!! What a family treasure!!! Thank you for allowing us to get to know her and care for her. Praying you take the time in the next days to celebrate her life and share the precious memories of her life.

  2. Barb Garies says:

    I was soooo sorry to hear of my dear Aunt Arlene’s passing. She was the sweetest, dearest, most caring, hard working person I’ve ever met.
    I love you and may you rest in peace.

  3. Rosemary Wilmes says:

    My deepest sympathy and prayers Brad, Becky and families. Arlene was a very special aunt and I enjoyed all my visits with her. I will forever enjoy the memories and her poetry books!

  4. Julie Lund Zimmeth says:

    Brad, Peggy, Becky and families, sending my deepest sympathies for the loss of your mother and grandmother. I remember her fondly from my high school days chasing around with Becky. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Ann Svendsen says:

    Always enjoyed Arlene and she shared a lot of her life with us in the Nightwriters Group, especially through her poetry and stories. My sympathy to you all..

  6. Bill and Barb Driscoll says:

    Aunt Arlene was one of the loveliest woman I have ever known. She was fun, feisty, smart and giving. She gave her love freely to everyone. She has been missed by myself and many others for a long time. There is no doubt that she made God smile. We are happy that she is now with him!

  7. ChRLOLTTE A. Rink says:

    Dear Bradley and Peggy, and all of Arlene’s wonderful lovely granchildren. and children. It always was a joy lo see so many of you, when we would make a trip home Arlene was so happy to have to all around. Dear Sister, I am going to miss you forever. I loved your books, but especially your weekly note n the newspaper, Entitled, “Give me a minute, IIll think of something.” You could cook and clean, and scrub, and mow, and put out the best diinners.

  8. Bev Hummel says:

    We are sorry to hear of the loss of your mother and grandmother. Thinking of you at this difficult time. God’s Blessings to all of her family. (Bev and Randy Hummel)

  9. Mercedes Arneson Pary says:

    To Arlene’s Family – condolences to all – I am Arlene’s cousin. My mother, Violet (Bydie Evans Arneson) talked a lot about Arlene over the years. They had a common thread “writing”. I have read and re-read her poems many times over. Many times over the years, my Mom would call me Arlene by mistake, a compliment for sure. I enjoyed going to Merl and Arlene’s place. Loved her decorating and friendly atmosphere. She definitely was a gifted and talented author and painter. We all will miss her.

  10. Lorie Ludwig says:

    I was sorry to learn of Arlene’s passing. She was a talented lady. My sympathy goes to Brad, Becky and Rita’s families. My mother, June Westphal, had Arlene’s books of poetry and I learned of her talent. Her talent lives on by what she left behind.

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