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Velma Louise Arnold (nee Huff) passed away peacefully on April 17, 2021, surrounded by family and friends.
Velma was born in State Center, Iowa, on September 9, 1928, to the late Cecil Maynard and Hattie Riemenschneider Huff. She married Glen Richard Arnold on October 15, 1949, in Marshalltown, Iowa. They moved from Iowa to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, settling in Franklin in 1957 where she and Glen raised their six children: Rich, Craig, Diane, Linda, Deborah and Glen. After her husband’s death, Velma relocated to Shorewood and later to Appleton, Wisconsin, to be closer to family and to continue to help raise her grandchildren.
Velma’s devotion to her family and friends, as well as her generosity of her love, patience and time, created many special memories for her loved ones. Velma was game for almost anything if it meant spending time with her family. Her children remember the many summer trips to the beach and the full days spent at Whitnall Park, starting with a campfire breakfast followed by hiking in the park and visits to the botanical gardens. Velma and Glen’s home was a hub for the neighborhood children, where she supervised many backyard games of kickball and baseball. Velma was a card shark, and there were many hours of cribbage and crazy eights with family – that she usually won. She made sure all the kids could play a round of cards with her.
Velma continued to create special memories with her grandchildren and their friends, many of whom considered her their honorary grandmother. Her grandchildren remember the many sleepover parties, visits to the zoo to learn about animals, beach and park visits, and Neil Diamond sing-a-longs in her car. She even accompanied one grandson to a Metallica concert. Velma also enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s school concerts, and she was the biggest fan of any sport they played, often attending their meets and games despite the rain and cold well into her eighties. She was a great and patient teacher of her grandchildren and was instrumental in instilling a love of reading, and an appreciation of nature and the exploration of the world around them.
Velma loved Lake Michigan sunrises, and she appreciated the beauty and serenity of the surrounding parks and any flower garden. She always looked forward to spring and the numerous birds that visited outside of her window. She also loved music, particularly classic country, bluegrass and gospel. As a lifelong learner, Velma enjoyed reading anything from history to natural science as well as a good mystery. She was always very aware of current events, and she always looked forward to reading the Sunday New York Times.
And while Wisconsin would become her home, Velma remained deeply connected to her rural roots and family in Iowa. For many years, she tended a large garden where she taught her children to plant and harvest vegetables. She loved taking them to the Wisconsin State Fair’s horse exhibitions. And every year, she and Glen made annual treks to Iowa where the children could ride grandpa’s horses, visit family farms, churn ice cream, attend large family picnics and connect with cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Velma worked for more than 30 years in accounting, many of those years while raising her children. She was an active member of Faith Presbyterian Church, where she worked with youth groups, used her accounting skills and served on numerous committees. And she enjoyed volunteering at the schools her children and grandchildren attended.
Velma was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Glen Arnold; grandchildren Jason Rohrwasser, and Abbey and Sarah Wentzel; her parents, Cecil and Hattie Huff; siblings Mabel Moody, Doris Davis, Carroll Huff and Dorthey (Dottie) Muench; and other dear family members and friends. Velma was always comforted knowing she will be reunited with her loved ones.
Velma is survived by her children, Rich (Laura) Arnold, Craig (Ginny) Arnold, Diane (Brad) Vorpahl, Linda (Rich) Wentzel, Deborah (Lawrence) Rohrwasser, Glen (Sue) Arnold; and grandchildren Laura (Paven), Amanda, Craig (Raushan), Matthew (Roxann), Julie Ann (Paul), Amelia, Brendan, Evan, Hannah, Rachel, Ben, Nicole (Brian), Jenna (Ryan) and Tyler. She is also survived by her great grandchildren, Annika, Elena, Lilly, Delaina, Eric, Autumn Louise, Kayla, Kaden, Mackenzie, Dominic, and Cash; her sisters, Ruth (Davis) and Cecilia Nelson; and nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Velma will be missed by her special friends whom she loved dearly, Annysa, Mike and John Johnson; the Williamson family and Shirley Grohocki and Bernie Dahlgren.
Velma had a love for wildlife and nature and jumped at any opportunity to spend time outdoors with family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Velma Arnold to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee for the “H2O for Elephants” campaign. www.zoosociety.org/support
Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 6, 2021, at 11:00 AM at Faith Presbyterian Church, 3800 W. Rawson Ave. Church, Franklin, WI. 53132. Interment will follow at Arlington Cemetery. A celebration of Velma’s life and a picnic lunch will follow at 2:00 pm at Vernon Barg Pavilion, Franklin WI.
“Be as the bird, perched for an instant on the too frail branch which she feels bending beneath, but sings away all the same, knowing she has wings”
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