A celebration of life service for Arleen Kathrine Graham, 86, of Lincoln, Nebraska – formerly of Baker, Montana will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Baker, Montana. Interment will follow directly after the service in Bonnievale Cemetery in Baker.
Arleen passed away on Wednesday August 18, 2021. After a 2 year battle with cancer that also affected her congestive heart failure and kidney disease, Arleen was called to the heavenly home she longed for where she is now perfectly healed and in the arms of her Savior.
Arleen Kathrine Graham was born on January 21, 1935 to Edwin Henry and Bertha (Orth) Kusler in Baker, MT. She attended school in Plevna, MT where she graduated in 1953. Arleen’s dad passed away July 8, 1935 when she was 5 months old and her mother passed away December 22, 1948 when Arleen was 13. Her sister Idella and husband Edmund Freier took Arleen in after her mother’s passing where she lived and became more of a sister than an aunt to Wayne and then to Jerry and Kelly who were born after she started living at Edmund & Idella’s farmstead. After graduating from Plevna High School, Arleen went to work for Bud Bowen at Super Valu. In 1958 she went to work at Baker National Bank. In the spring of 1958, true love blossomed when she met Verle, who became the love of her life. Verle and Arleen were married June 7, 1959 at Emmanuel Congregational Church in Plevna, MT. Arleen continued to work at the bank - which became known as Montana Bank of Baker - until the fall of 1979 where she went to work as a Library Aide at Baker high School. In the spring of 1980, after working in a job she remembered as being a glorified babysitter – aka monitoring Study Hall for the high school classes, she gladly returned to the bank where she worked until her retirement in 1991.
After retirement, Arleen enjoyed spending her days being a homemaker as well as her grandchildren – Ashley born in 1990, Bailey born in 1992, Arika born in 1993 and Taylor born in 1994. She especially enjoyed being able to provide love and affection to Bailey and Arika while their parents worked and enjoyed them coming to have lunch with her whenever they could. She also enjoyed the special times when she and Verle got to have Ashley and Taylor stay with them in Baker. She also enjoyed getting to watch her grandchildren participate in high school sports and loved to travel to watch them play as well.
In everything Arleen did, she always had a smile on her face and never had an unkind word to say about anyone. On January 9, 2011, after 51-1/2 years of marriage, Arleen lost the love of her life Verle to cancer. In May of 2012, Arleen moved to Lincoln, NE to be closer to her son Scott and his family. Arleen continued to live at The Legacy Retirement Community until the time of her passing. While living in Lincoln, Arleen had the opportunity to do things we never realized she would like to do – like Husker basketball games and dirt track racing on Saturday evenings on occasion. Her favorite activity though, was to just spend a relaxing day riding around in the car with her family looking at the beauty God has placed on earth.
The two most important things in Arleen’s life were her family – kids, grandkids, great grandkids, sisters, brothers, sister-in laws and brother-in-laws and all of their families and her faith in Jesus. She started and ended every day reading her bible and doing devotions. We thank God for the legacy of faith and family that she instilled in each of us.
Arleen is survived by her son Scott (Paula) Graham of Lincoln, NE, Daughter Sheila (Jerry) Woolington of Gillette, WY, grandchildren Ashley Davis of Lincoln, NE, Bailey Woolington of Baker, MT, Arika McKnabb of Gillette, WY and Taylor (Hanna) Graham of Lincoln, NE and great-grandchildren Mason Davis of Lincoln, NE, Harper McClanahan and Indie Graham of Lincoln, NE and Logan McKnabb of Gillette, WY. She also was anxiously awaiting her 5th great-grandchild, who Taylor and Hanna are expecting on December 24, 2021.
Arleen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Verle, her sister Idella and her brothers Glenn and LeRoy.
Philippians 1:21 For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.