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Obituary: Arnelda M. Southworth

Arnelda M. Southworth, 89, passed away April 13, 2022, surrounded by family. She was born May 14, 1932, in Fosston to Christian and Nora (Ness) Krohg. After losing her father at age 2, she was raised by her mother, the youngest in a blended family of 13 brothers and sisters, whom she adored. Arnelda graduated from high school in 1950 and attended Bemidji State Teachers college, earning a provisional two-year teaching certificate. She began teaching in Bagley, where she met her husband of 44 years, LeRoy Southworth. They were married June 13, 1954. Arnelda then taught in Ely, Carlton, Moose Lake, Cloquet and Wrenshall. While working full-time and raising a family she earned her bachelor’s in elementary education in 1966 by completing correspondence courses and attending vacation/summer sessions through the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Her Christian faith was an enduring source of strength and comfort, and she treasured her Zion Lutheran Church family. Through the years Arnelda served on church council and as Sunday School director, sang in the choir and co-led a children’s choir, and actively participated in Circle, Bible studies, WELCA leadership and outreach ministries to seniors and shut-ins. She lived her faith by being a compassionate listener for many throughout her life. The loss of her son, Craig, in 1978 led Arnelda to participate in and then to facilitate grief education and support groups for several years. Following her teaching career, Arnelda participated in the clinical pastoral education program at St. Mary’s Medical Center and was the protestant chaplain at the Benedictine Health Center in the early 1990s. Her love for people extended particularly to children and the elderly alike.

In addition to her deep love for family, with whom she loved to laugh, Arnelda also enjoyed attending theater and musical performances, and loved art, especially oil and watercolor painting. She also enjoyed gardening and found solace and comfort in nature throughout her life. A devoted lifelong learner, Arnelda kept up with current events, always wanting to know what was going on in the world. She supported the Cloquet Educational Foundation and was a member of Chapter EM of the Philanthropic Educational Organization.

She was preceded in death by her parents; former husband LeRoy; son Craig; Nelson siblings Edwin, Selmer (Frances), Henry (Gladys), Ethel (Palmer Forsberg), Arvilla (George Enloe), Agda (Allen “Bud” Klinke), Walter and Victoria; and Krohg siblings Edna (Maurice “Burt” Brown), Minerva (Thilford Hove), Dagny (Joe Pederson) and William Krohg.

Arnelda is survived by her son Scott (Jean) Southworth; daughters Karyn (Marshall) Peters and Karla Southworth; grandchildren Eric Southworth, Amy (Adam) Thompson and Nicole (David) Tyler; great-grandchildren Declan Goward, Addison and Emma Thompson, and Mina, Lily, and Nora Tyler; sisters-in-law Borghild “Borgie” Krohg and JoAnn Nelson; beloved niece LaVonne (Roger) Kurrle; as well as many other nieces and nephews.

The family thanks the CMH-Raiter Family Clinic staff for their care of Arnelda over the years, and the Cloquet Memorial Hospital staff for their care during Arnelda’s brief hospital stay.

Visitation: 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 29 at Nelson Funeral Care, and resuming at 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. service Saturday, April 30 at Zion Lutheran Church. Memorials to Zion Lutheran Church or the Cloquet Educational Foundation are requested.

The family requests following masking and social distancing guidelines in accordance with facility requirements and out of respect for immunocompromised and at-risk attendees.