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Arlene Sweet

Arlene Sweet

Date of Death - March 16, 2017

Arleene Sweet reluctantly died on March 16, 2017.

She loved her life and her family and friends and was simply not ready to leave us. Arleene was born in Missouri during the Depression to Arlie and Lorena Pachl and was the first in her family to attend college. At age 19 she married another poor college student, David Sweet. Although she completed her degree in art, for the next 30 years she was primarily a wife and mother to their two daughters as the family moved around the country for David’s career in higher education. She also volunteered in her communities throughout her life as well as serving as the college president’s wife at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN and at Rhode Island College in Providence, RI.

After David died unexpectedly when Arleene was 50 years old she reinvented herself and thrived as a paid professional for the next 19 years. She worked for the Coordinating Board of Higher Education in Missouri and then was the founding Managing Director of Parent’s Guide Children’s Media, based in Virginia. Arleene finally retired to Minnesota, near her daughters, in 2003, where she continued her lifelong passion as a painter and continued her volunteer activities.

Arleene is sadly missed by her beloved children and grandchildren, Karen Sweet (Robin Fondow), and Jocelyn Sweet, Lindsay Fondow (Rusty Kiser), Travis Fondow, Winston van Toor, and Suzanne van Toor. She was also thrilled to be GG Ma to Natalie Kiser. Arleene was blessed throughout her life to have a large network of friends. They sustained her through good times and hard times and they have held both Arleene and our family in their loving hearts through her illness.

A memorial service will be at Presbyterian Church of the Way, Shoreview, MN on Thursday March 23 at 11:00 with a gathering at 10:00 and lunch to follow. Our family suggests memorials be directed to Metropolitan State University Foundation (