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Elmer Arndt

Elmer Gustav Arndt, 94, formerly of Hewitt, passed away at his home in Staples on June 1, 2009, succumbing to congestive heart failure after defeating esophageal cancer two years ago.

He was born Sept. 4, 1914, to Gustav and Ida (Frank) Arndt at their home in Bartlett Township, rural Verndale. Ida passed away when he was just 15 months old and he was raised by his father and siblings. As a young man, he worked for many farmers in the region. He entered the Army on Jan. 2, 1942, attained the rank of sergeant in the 30th Infantry Division during World War II in Europe, received a Purple Heart, and was honorably discharged Oct. 26, 1945. Upon returning home after the war, he joined the VFW and was always very proud of the time spent serving his country.

He married Marcella Meinhardt on June 10, 1948 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bartlett Township. They raised their five children together in Hewitt. He drove milk truck for the Aldrich Creamery and co-owned and operated the Deep Rock gas station in Hewitt for 40 years. He enjoyed meeting and visiting with people and was known for his booming jovial voice that could be heard all over town.

He served his community as mayor and council member of the city of Hewitt. He was a member of the Hewitt Commercial Club, Hewitt Volunteer Fire Department, the Hewitt Senior Citizens and the VFW Club. He served the Trinity Lutheran Church in Hewitt as an active member, elder, trustee and Sunday school superintendent. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, coaching and playing softball, horseshoes, bowling league, cooking and a good game of cards. He also enjoyed gardening and was known for having a weed-free garden. He was especially proud of his family and was happiest spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Saturday, June 6, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Staples with the Rev. Robin Collins presiding. Military honors were provided by the Elmer Goche Post 3922 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Wadena. Honorary pallbearers were grandchildren Amy Arndt, Jami Arndt, Amber Klokstad, Erik Arndt, Cory Arndt, Andrew Bates, Luke Bates and great-grandchildren Muira Arndt, Sawyer Arndt, Coen Arndt, Lyla Arndt and Daisy Klokstad. Pallbearers were Lester Arndt, Gene Arndt, Roger Arndt, Brian Bates, Aaron Arndt and Kenneth Arndt. Interment was in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Bartlett Township.

Domian-Anderson Funeral Home ( was in charge of arrangements.

Survivors include Marcella, his wife of 61 years; sons, Lester (Patricia) of Lake City, Gene of Fergus Falls and Roger (Laura) of Franktown, Colo.; daughters, Linda Arndt of Denver, Colo., and Lori (Brian) Bates of Staples; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; in-laws Ruth (Alan) Smith of Aurora, Colo., Alice Rooney of Osseo, Roy (Devona) Meinhardt of Columbia Heights and Arthur (Myrna) Meinhardt of Farmington; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gustav and Ida; a great-grandchild; brothers, Otto (Alma) Arndt, Carl Arndt and William (Agnes) Arndt; sisters, Bertha (Hugo) Baumhardt, Annie (William) Sellnow and Martha (Herman) Rosevink; and in-laws Ernest (Eunice) Meinhardt and Ray Rooney.