Arlene Ruth Orpha Appel Wemark Rue, 92, passed away Sept. 29, 2013, at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo. Visitation is Sunday, Oct. 6, from 4-7 p.m. at Lindstrom Funeral Home in Cresco. Funeral service is Monday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Ridgeway. Burial is at Lincoln Cemetery, followed by lunch at Peace Lutheran Church.
Arlene was born Feb. 21, 1921, to Emma Kuthe Appel and William Appel in Girard Township, Clayton County, near Monona. She was baptized in Monona and confirmed in her faith in 1935 at Greenfield Lutheran in Harmony, Minn. She attended rural schools in Clayton, Howard and Winneshiek counties and graduated in 1940 from Ridgeway High School. Arlene met Harry Wemark at a restaurant in Cresco while she was still in high school. She said he was he was fun and friendly, and they dated by attending dances and going roller-skating. They were married in Jan. 1941, at the Ridgeway parsonage. Arlene and Harry loved to go fishing with friends at Minnesota lakes several times a year, especially Lakes Winnebigosh and Milacs. Harry died in September of 1964, shortly after they visited the World's Fair and Niagara Falls.
Arlene married Malcolm Rue in Oct. 1969 in Kennset. Arlene and Malcolm did quite a bit of traveling, including trips to Hawaii, Florida, the Black Hills, Colorado, Oregon, Norway and Germany, where Arlene met her first cousin, Magda. Arlene and Malcolm were charter members of the Sons of Norway in Decorah and she helped make lefse for The Nordic Fest for many years. Malcolm died in Feb. 1997. Arlene's love of traveling continued into her later years with visits to family and friends. She spent a month each summer with her daughter Elaine, either in the mountains of Colorado or house-boating in Utah. Christmas would find her with one of her other daughters, Deb in Fairfield or Dianne in Cedar Rapids. She also took many vacations with friends to Las Vegas each winter. When she was home, Arlene enjoyed many meals with her son, Vince, also of Ridgeway. Vince was a tremendous help to her. Vince, along with Arlene's numerous dear and loving friends, allowed Arlene to live independently her entire life. Arlene was very active at Lincoln and Peace Lutheran Church through the years. She taught Sunday school, helped with the newsletters, quilted for Do Day, ALCW and Circle. She also made wonderful embroidered dishtowels for the fall bazaar. Her hobbies included sewing, reading, growing flowers and quilting. She belonged to a quilt club for many years, completing quite a few quilts and wall hangings. When she wasn't rooting for the Hawkeyes, she enjoyed bowling and walking. She bowled for nearly 60 years and was still competing in a Decorah league when she was 90 years old. She was an avid walker for more than 40 years, strolling the country roads and trails spring through fall, and the Ridgway gym in the winter. It kept her young and healthy for many years.
She is survived by her four children: Vince Wemark of Ridgeway, Elaine (Doug) Peterson of Grand Junction, Colo., Dianne (Jack) Driscoll of Cedar Rapids and Debra (Paul) Buelow of Fairfield. She has four grandchildren: Jeanette (Mike) Cox of Oxford, Sven (Terrie) Peterson of Aurora, Colo., Shana Peterson of Littleton, Colo. and Rachel Buelow of Fairfield; and four great-grandchildren: Jessica and Alex Cox of Oxford and Eiger and Laeta Peterson of Aurora, Colo.
Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, Harry Wemark and Malcolm Rue, sisters Jane (Robert) Miller and Lorene (William) Templeton, and her brother Rueben Appel.
Arlene will be remembered as a good friend, a wonderful mom and a loving grandma. She was always ready with a smile, a hand to hold and a generous heart. She will be missed by many.