Evelyn Arona Skogerboe (known as Arona) passed away at GoldPine Home in Bemidji, Minnesota Saturday, October 19, 2013, at the age of 92.
Funeral Services will be 10:30 am Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji, MN with Rev. Arlo Feiock officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home, a time of remembrance and celebration of Aronas life will take place Friday, October 25, 7-8:30 PM, at Bethany Free Lutheran Church, 13th & Beltrami. Interment will be at 4 pm at the Fairview Cemetery in Erskine, MN. Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.
Arona was born in Fertile, Minnesota on November 24, 1920 to Arthur and Christine (Ness) Olsted. Arona, her parents and her younger sister Elaine moved from Fertile to Erskine, Minnesota where Arona attended school from second grade until high school graduation. She met her future husband Rudy Skogerboe while in grade school. Arona informed her mother that she would grow up and marry Rudy Skogerboe. Rudy told his sisters the same. To make sure their love would last Arona and Rudy attended different colleges. Arona studied 2 years at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. She then transferred to the Swedish Hospital Nursing Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from their 3 year program. Arona and Rudy were married December 30, 1943. They were married almost 65 years at the time Rudy passed away in October of 2008. Arona and Rudy moved from Minneapolis to Duluth, Minnesota where Rudy completed an internship in medical general practice at St. Lukes Hospital. Their first son Mark was born in Duluth in 1945. They then moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota so Rudy could work at the V.A. Hospital, since Rudy was in the army. Their only daughter Laurel was born in St. Cloud in 1947. Arona and Rudy moved to Karlstad, Minnesota, to start Rudys private medical practice in 1948. They set up a clinic in their home until the hospital and clinic could be built. Their 2 youngest sons were born in Karlstad, Neil in 1948 and Reed in 1952. Arona was a remarkable woman working side by side with her husband as a nurse at their new clinic. She was busy raising her young children, nursing, and comforting and praying with frightened families of sick and injured loved ones. She was active in her church all her life; teaching, ministry, leadership, and singing in the choir. Arona sang alto in the famous St. Olaf Choir under F. Melius Christianson. She continued to sing in the GoldPine Choir to the time of her death. She loved all people with rarely a critical word. She loved sports and was an ardent Brooklyn Dodgers fan largely because of their willingness to hire Jackie Robinson. When she and Rudy moved to Minneapolis so he could finish a urology residency from 1966-1969, she worked as a nurse at Abbott Northwest Hospital. They then moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota as Rudy joined the Grand Clinic. She continued nursing early on, but then served as a chaplain at the (then) United Hospital in the 1970s and 1980s. She went with her husband to Thailand in 1982 where she taught English to a Christian drama troupe. While in Thailand she worked as a nurse in the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in NE Thailand. The camp of almost 35,000 Hmong refugees from Communist oppression was located on the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos. From then on Arona had a great love for the Hmong people. Arona loved her Lord Jesus Christ and shared His saving love all her life. She was content and happy in all circumstances. Recently when asked how she liked living in GoldPine home, she replied, "I love it here." She will be missed here, but she is now rejoicing in heaven with her Lord and those she loves who are in heaven with her.
Arona was preceded in death by her husband Rudy, her parents, and her sister Elaine.
She is survived by her 4 children Mark (Judy) of Fargo, ND, Laurel of Tulsa, OK, Neil (Celeste) of Bemidji and Reed of St. Paul; 7 grandchildren Scot (Beth), Joshua (Amy), Christie Jensen (Dorian), Ben (Tammy), Noah (Cori), Natalie and Eunice Djerf (Mark); and 23 great-grandchildren. Casketbearers will be her grandchildren.
Memorials are preferred to MAP (Medical Assistance Program) International at Donor/Member Services, MAP International PO Box 7020 Albert Lea, MN 56007-9931 or 1-800-225-8550 or Bethany Free Lutheran Church in Bemidji.