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1927 Arlene 2022

Arlene Olive Ballard

June 8, 1927 — October 27, 2022

Lake Park

Arlene Olive Ballard of Lake Park, Minnesota passed away on October 27, 2022 at the age of 95.

Arlene was born on June 8, 1927 to Martin and Bessie Mikkelson in Atlanta Township, about 8 miles north of Lake Park. In March of 1928 the family moved to Cuba Township. She lived on this farm until May 1947 with her parents and seven brothers and sisters. She graduated from Lake Park high school at 16 years of age.

For a brief time, she lived in Fargo with her best friend, Merl Strand. While there, she worked in the circulation department of the Fargo Forum. In October of 1944, she became engaged to Clayton Ballard. Arlene married Clayton on June 23, 1946. They lived with her parents until 1947 when they bought a 160 farmstead one mile north. None of the buildings on the property were worth saving so they built a double garage and lived in that while their home was being built. They moved into the newly built house in May of 1949. Their son Douglas Kirk was born June 30, 1949. At first, they had a few beef cattle and farmed the land. In 1957 they started raising mink. On September 27, 1958, Evonne Denise was born. Arlene worked side by side with her husband on the mink ranch. In addition, she was an avid gardener, both vegetable and flower. She grew fern peonies and sold them to nurseries in Illinois and South Carolina.

 For many years she belonged to the Lake Park Garden Club. That club maintained the flower bed on the right as you enter Lake Park from highway 10 and also flowers across from Jeff’s Supermarket. Always busy, she continually was looking for new projects, especially during the winters. She crocheted a tablecloth for her niece Carole and one for our family, they both took many months to finish. Through the years, she did macrame, crocheted Christmas angels and stars, multiple afghans, socks and mittens; all of which she gave away. She also sewed many quilts for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her husband Clayton passed away suddenly on November 13, 1988 at the age of 67. Mom would live 34 more years. She moved from the farm to an apartment in Lake Park in 1990 where she lived until she broke her hip in April of 2017. After she moved to Sunnyside Care Center in Lake Park until her passing. In 1990, Arlene took the trip of a lifetime with her niece Carole and husband Dick Surmon to visit her ancestors in Norway along with Denmark and Sweden. Arlene volunteered at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge for more than 20 years. According to those who worked there, she was not the typical volunteer working scheduled hours, she would just show up and start working on the flower beds or pulling weeds, in other words, what she deemed necessary. Arlene also over a couple of summers documented and took photos of all the wildflowers at Zimmerman Prairie. Zimmerman Prairie in an 80-acre piece of virgin land (unbroken tallgrass prairie) donated by Archie and Blanche Zimmerman to the Nature Conservancy, Clayton’s Uncle and Aunt. For many years she served in Ladies’ Aid at the Lake Park Lutheran Church along with helping sew many quilts which are donated to those in need.

Arlene is survived by her brothers: Vern (Iowa Park, TX), Ernest (Lake Park, MN) and Richard (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada), two children: Douglas (Lake Park, MN), Evonne Muse (Corona del Mar, CA), four grandchildren: Michael (Victoria, MN), Jacquelyn Vranicar (Chaska, MN), Nicholas (Carver, MN) and Angelica (Moorhead, MN), eight great-grandchildren: Cooper, Parker, Drew, Peyton, Benjamin, Lucas, Alex and Lauren.

Preceding her in death are sisters: Alvina, Marcia, Velma, Faye and brother, Mervin, husband, Clayton, grandchild, David and daughter-in-law, Mary.

Services will be held at Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes, MN on November 19th, 2022 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to Operation Smile and METAvivor Research in her memory.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Arlene Olive Ballard, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 19, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

David-Donehower Funeral & Cremation Service

609 US Hwy 10 East, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

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