Arley D. Anderson

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Arley D. Anderson, of Benson, 86, died on January 27, 2020, at the Gabriel House in Murdock, Minnesota. Visitation will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, on Friday, January 31 at the First Evangelical Free Church in Benson, and will continue on Saturday, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am. Interment will follow the service at the Benson City Cemetery. 

Arley Delores (Lokken) Anderson was born July 20,1933, on a farm near Vining, MN, the second, and only daughter, of five children born to Oliver and Loretta (Westad) Lokken. Arley started attending a country school at age 5 near Vining, before the family later moved to Henning, MN, where she graduated from Henning High School in 1951. During her high school years, Arley was active in school choir, band, and plays. Following graduation, Arley attended St. Cloud Teacher College, where she received a provisional elementary certificate. Prior to completing her education at St. Cloud, Arley worked one summer at Glacier National Park in Montana. Her first teaching job was at a rural school near Henning for one year. The following summer she moved to California along with a few friends in search of a teaching job there, but not finding any, she returned to Minnesota and was able to acquire an elementary teaching position in Appleton, MN.  

Soon after arriving in Appleton, Arley met Bruce Anderson on a blind date. A little over nine months later, on June 10, 1956, Arley was united in marriage to Robert ‘Bruce’ Anderson in Henning, MN. Bruce and Arley were married for 52 years, until Bruce’s passing in June 2008. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Robert, Rebecka, Ruth and Randall.

Bruce and Arley were farmers and ranchers in several locations throughout their married life. They started their married life living on a farm south of Benson, MN, then moved to Nebraska for a year, before settling on a farm south of Starbuck, MN, where they raised their family. Later they moved back to the Benson area.

An interesting piece of Arley’s ancestry involves her grandmother’s house in Norway, which was donated to the Sons of Norway, and was disassembled, moved and rebuilt in Minot, ND. In 1991, Arley attended the dedication of her grandmother’s house as part of the Scandinavian Heritage Center in Minot, ND. The house is now called the Sigdal House.

Arley was active in various church and community activities throughout her life. These include participation and leadership roles at East Zion Lutheran Church (rural Starbuck), Christian Women’s Club, Trinity Lutheran Church (Benson), and First Evangelical Free Church (Benson), After moving back to the Benson area, she taught at the Benson Christian school for a time, and then later became a Foster Grandparent for several years in the Benson elementary school. She was affectionately called and remembered as “Grandma Arley” by many in Benson whose lives she impacted. Arley enjoyed traveling and took many bus tours. She also enjoyed reading, collecting cookbooks and small spoons, and had a great enjoyment of music. Most of all, Arley especially loved spending time with family.

Arley was a devoted and loving wife, mother, and grandmother, and a loyal friend to many. She enjoyed studying the Bible and hosting women’s Bible Study groups in her home, and was a faithful prayer warrior. Arley’s gentle, encouraging nature impacted the lives of family and friends, and the students she taught and foster-grandparented in the schools. Her faith and love of her Savior Jesus gave her life the anchor that enabled her to weather the challenges of life, and the grace to endure through sufferings. Arley stated that she had an ordinary life. But to those who felt God’s love expressed through knowing her, we felt the impact of an extraordinary God displayed through her life.

God called Arley home to Heaven from her residence at Gabriel House, Murdock, MN, on January 27, 2020, at the age of 86 years. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11.

Arley is survived by her four children: Rob (Pam) Anderson of Benson, Becky (Mitch) Hagen of Prior Lake, MN, Ruth (Dennis) Koenen, Big Lake, MN, and Randy (Vickie) Anderson of Starbuck; eleven grandchildren: Jason Anderson, Cory Anderson, Kayla (Derek) Rogers, Nathaniel (Laura) Hagen, Zachary Hagen, Samuel Hagen, Krista (Ed Gorr) Koenen, Travis (Mel) Koenen, Lucas Anderson, Ethan (Karrie) Anderson, Mariah Anderson; three great-grandchildren: Theodore & Alexander Rogers and Tate Anderson; three brothers: Wesley Lokken of Johnson City, Texas, Mikkel (Linda) Lokken of Billings, Montana, and Owen (Sylvia) Lokken of Rowlett, Texas; along with other relatives. Arley is preceded in death by her husband, Bruce; parents, Oliver & Loretta Lokken; and her brother, Duane Lokken.


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