Obituary for Arlene Graham

Arlene Johnson Graham 1927-2018 Arlene Graham died peacefully on Saturday, January 20, 2018-her 91st birthday-at Northfield Retirement Community in Northfield, MN. Arlene Johnson Graham was born in Waterloo, Iowa to Robert Emmons Johnson, Sr. and Lucile Reding Johnson. She graduated from Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska and went on to attend college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. There, she met her husband, John Robert (“Bob”) Graham and was active in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority as well as in flying club. On August 30, 1947, she and Bob were married and resided in Iowa City where she […]

show more

Arlene Johnson Graham
1927-2018

Arlene Graham died peacefully on Saturday, January 20, 2018-her 91st birthday-at Northfield Retirement Community in Northfield, MN.

Arlene Johnson Graham was born in Waterloo, Iowa to Robert Emmons Johnson, Sr. and Lucile Reding Johnson. She graduated from Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska and went on to attend college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. There, she met her husband, John Robert (“Bob”) Graham and was active in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority as well as in flying club. On August 30, 1947, she and Bob were married and resided in Iowa City where she completed her B.A. degree and Bob graduated from law school at the University of Iowa. Minneapolis became their permanent home where they raised three children. Arlene and Bob mentored their love of family, nature, sport, faith, and music through daily life, travel/vacations, and traditions. As a dedicated wife and mother, she exemplified her these values by her involvement in her children’s interests and activities.

Arlene’s activities reflected her adventuresome spirit and leadership. Having won numerous competitions in AAU swimming and diving, Arlene’s highlight was being awarded the Pete Wendell trophy for “Outstanding Swimmer of the Year” in 1948. Arlene loved getting her pilot licence and being in a flying club with Bob. She was one of two women who brought synchronized swimming into Minnesota and was proud of the clinics and competitions they sponsored. Additional volunteerism focused on: church, where she taught Sunday School and sang in choir, being a Girl Scout leader, where she received the “Thanks Badge” for 10 years of service, and Red Cross, for whom she taught swimming lessons and First Aid to children and adults. Her other passions included camping, canoing, skiing, staying connected through letters and cards, sewing, and knitting. She was persistent and insistent in all that she pursued.

Arlene was admired for her energy, engaging smile, kindnesses she shared, and for the many ways she touched peoples’ lives. She will be dearly missed by relatives and friends whom she loved and those who loved her.

Survivors include: her children Alan (Jody) Graham of Lexington, MA, Patsy (John) Ophaug of Northfield, MN; son-in-law Charles Wagoner; grandchildren Christine Graham, Kristin (Will) England, Erik (Solveig) Ophaug, Chelsea Jo Wagoner; great-grandsons William and John England; brother-in-law George Graham; nieces Julie (Dennis) Sarver, Kathy (Steve) Wilcox, Rebeca (Donald) Book, and nephew Greg (Katie) Johnson. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bob of 40 years, brother Robert Emmons Johnson, Jr.; and daughter Barbara Jo Wagoner.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church 500 3rd St. W. Northfield, MN on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Private burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Fabius, NY at a later date. Memorials are preferred to: Valley Community Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund, St. John’s Lutheran Church Foundation, or charity of choice.

Arrangements are with the Benson and Langehough Funeral Home www.northfieldfuneral.com

show less


Funeral

March 10, 2018 - 11:00 AM


Visitation One Hour Before Service
St. John’s Lutheran Church
500 3rd St W Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shares
Share This

Share this obituary