Arlene Lorette Wills | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

September 5, 1933 - April 16, 2021


Arlene Lorette Wills

Age 87, passed away on Friday, April 16, 2021, at Victoria Care Center, Waconia, Minnesota peacefully of natural causes surrounded by her six children. It was an honor and privilege to be by her side as she transitioned to her next journey.

Born to Oscar Andrew Nystrom and Magna "Amanda" Theoline Lathrup in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 5th, 1933, she was the fourth of seven children. The family moved from Milwaukee to Mpls., MN in the 1940s, where Arlene spent the rest of her life. Arlene moved to Richfield in 1953 where she worked tirelessly to support her family and raise all six children. Her last few years were spent at Summerwood of Chanhassen and, most recently, Victoria Care Center. We are grateful to these facilities for the tender and loving care of our mother.

Arlene loved music and dancing, and her favorite artist was Elvis Presley. At Summerwood, she was known as “The Dancing Lady” bringing a smile to many residents and staff with her effervescent personality and joy of music. Arlene was known for her green thumb and her ability to nurse any suffering plant back to life. She loved to paint and draw: her family cherishes some of her original paintings. She was enamored by wildlife, and nature. Arlene was a life-long learner and a voracious reader of books about health, nutrition, spiritual and self-growth and politics. Her great passions in life were her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her home, which was her sanctuary for 66 years.

Survived by children, Glen (Maxine) Johnson, Colleen (Rod) Martel, Randall Johnson, Karen Blumberg (Ken), Sherri (Bill) Olson and Michael (Dana) Wills; grandchildren, Molly (Josh), Megan (Jared), Nick (Sarah), Kristie (Lee), Charity (Anand), Sarah (Steve), Jake (Larissa), Jenny, Kayla, Joey (Samantha), Julianne (Will), Andy, Karenea (Alex), Payton, Nicole and Natalie; great-grandchildren, Anthony, Ethan, Mason, Wyatt, Aileigh, Brody, Blake, Thor, Charlie, Breck, Henrik, Laine, Nikhill, Rohan, Mae, Elsa, Jones, Liv, Natali, River, William, Nathan, Bennett, Zack, Cassandra, Katelyn, Kailey and Austin; brothers, Leroy (Louise) and Wayne Nystrom; and best friend, Viola Anderson. Preceded in death by husband, Orlo Wills; grandsons, Richard Johnson and Joshua Olson; parents, Oscar Nystrom and Amanda Lathrop; siblings, Winston Nystrom, Vonnie Pearson, Vernie Schmidt and Lenny Nystrom.

Due to COVID-19 State Regulations, in person funeral services will be limited to immediate family members only; however, the services will be held via Zoom on Monday (April 26) at 11:00AM. To all who wish to participate via remote connection, click here for Arlene’s Zoom Link.

Private Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.


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