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Marilyn Vereen Arndorfer

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article

June 27, 1931 - February 11, 2024


Funeral Mass for Marilyn Arndorfer will be celebrated on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Divine Mercy Parish - St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. Burial will be in the St. Benedict Catholic Cemetery. 

Marilyn Vereen Arndorfer went “home,” as she so aptly expressed it, in the last days of her earthly life, on Feb. 11, 2024.

Born on June 27, 1931, in St. Benedict to Magnus and Rosalia Rahm, the oldest of seven children, she attended St. Benedict Grade School and graduated from Lu Verne High School in 1949, as valedictorian of her class. Always a great beauty, she was the first Band Queen from Lu Verne to attend the North Iowa Band Festival.

Soon after graduation she married Robert J. Arndorfer at St. Benedict and moved a little east and south of the farm she grew up on to begin her life as a farmer’s wife. She and Bob raised their six children and celebrated 64 years of marriage before Bob’s death. They retired to Algona in 1991, beginning the next chapter of their lives.

Her children remember their father proudly saying that their mother could run the farm without him – she knew where to get the fertilizer, where to buy seed corn – equal partners, she had a very good sense of business, the markets and all money matters. However, she was a fabulous homemaker also and an exceptional cook and baker; the list of family favorites is long and extensive.

Marilyn had a beautiful way about her, taking the extra time and energy required to make everything ‘special.’ Every birthday, every holiday was celebrated making each extra wonderful and memorable. You may find a Valentine and chocolate on your breakfast plate and a pink heart-shaped cake when you came home from school. Great love, care and thought was instilled in everything she did. With her very skilled and hard-working hands she created much joy and happiness for those in her life.

Devoted to family, friends and neighbors, she also contributed to the community at large throughout her life. She was a charter member of the Court of St. Benedict at its onset in 1952, she held many offices in CD of A, served on many committees at Garrigan High School, participated in the Extension Youth Committee and  was a member of St. Benedict choir as well as a lector in church for many years. 

Passionate about bridge, an avid reader, enjoying quilting, she also loved her travels, completing her goal to visit all 50 states before she died.

Music was one of the great pleasures in her life, from attending many music festivals over the years, dancing at the Surf Ballroom, a Frank Sinatra concert in Las Vegas, and her routine ‘date night’ watching Daniel O’Donnell on PBS and there are many fond memories of dancing in the living room in pajamas on Saturday night to Lawrence Welk.

Marilyn appreciated and enjoyed immensely the tasks required for the ‘little joys’ in life: any and every flower, fat, brilliant, red tomatoes from her garden, bed sheets hung in the sun all day, basement shelves lined with shiny Ball jars of her canned bounty for the winter, homemade bread, just out of the oven, covering the kitchen table, her children racing through the house as she put everything in order, neat and harmonious.

Many years of happiness were spent watching her children grow and thrive and then with continued joy and pleasure she watched her grandchildren and great-grandchildren do the same. Always the consummate protector, the proud parent, it was a role she embraced her whole life.

Marilyn is survived by her children: Debra, of Algona, Dana (Lauri) of Corwith, Ronda (Randy) Pedersen of Renwick, Eric (Kathy) of Wesley, Amy (Jerry) Frankl of Ames, and son-in-law, Alfonso Gomez of Roseville, Minn.; 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings: Diane (Lyell) Holmes, Joe, Judy (Carolyn Moffett), Mike (Deb), sisters-in-law, Donna Brown and Joyce Rahm and brother-in-law, Richard (Dee) Arndorfer.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, her daughter, Karla Gomez, parents, Magnus and Rosalia, brothers, Patrick and Bill; sisters-in-law, Dee Nordstrom, Sondra Rahm and Shari Laverenz and brother-in-law Henry Arndorfer Jr.

“When one finds a worthy woman, her value is far beyond pearls…” Book of Proverbs

“…i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)” e.e. cummings

Arrangements were handled by Oakcrest Funeral Services. Condolences may be left at

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