Arnold Richard Auen was born at home in Wall Lake Iowa on August 10th, 1920, the son of Dick and Matilda Auen. Surrounded by loved ones, God peacefully called him home on Monday, January 1st, 2018 at the age of 97.
Arnold was raised a farm boy through and through. He graduated the 8th grade from rural school and went to work on the farm, but he was destined to see more than just the homestead.
The United States Army drafted Arnold into service at the start of WWII where he bravely fought on Omaha Beach in Normandy and later the Battle of the Bulge where he was separated from his regiment. One of the few memories he was willing to share was of the care given from a kind French family until the Germans cleared the area and he was able to make his way back into battle. He continued his tour behind a howitzer until the war ended and he was reunited with his family and loved ones.
He married his sweetheart Doris Mae on June 1, 1947 at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison, Iowa. The two continued their walk in faith at the United Presbyterian Church first in Wall Lake where Dad was baptized with his daughter Maureen in 1950 then later in Denison. Having had his fill of adventure, he was glad to get his hands back into the Iowa soil. He and Doris farmed for several years on the homestead just outside of Wall Lake, Iowa. This is where they raised three of their five children.
The family moved to Denison in 1963 where he and Doris completed the family with two more daughters. Arnold worked at Farmland Foods but continued to farm and raise a healthy garden. He was excited after retiring from Farmland at the age of 62 to dedicate more time to his garden and he thoroughly enjoyed spending hours tilling the soil, planting the seed and harvesting the bounty.
Gardening was not his only passion. He loved to fish. Our family vacations were spent at Lake Okoboji but any bit of water holding a bullhead or a cat fish that was willing to put up a fight would do. The family spent many summers together at Camp Crescent in Lake View or at the Sunrise Campgrounds in Storm Lake. One of his greatest pleasures was to have the time to instill this love into each of us.Arnie and Doris loved to dance. Every child and grandchild can recount the one-quick-quick as he would spin her across the living room floor, each parent then taking our hands to join in. The two traveled all over the Midwest dancing. This passion turned into a bit of fame when the pair won Polka King and Queen of Iowa. For one summer they danced on many floats in many parades representing our German heritage proudly wearing those crowns.
His latest adventure came when he and Doris decided to buy a mobile home in South Texas and officially become Winter Texans. Dad loved spending the winters in the RGV and was very proud to call Paradise Park in Pharr his “home for the winter”. He loved the warm days, Bingo Night, Fast Track Tournaments, Potluck, and disappearing on the golf cart with his grandson Johnny to find treasures from the junk yard only those two could love.
Every March or April, he and Doris would travel back to Iowa to spend summers on the lake with her family there doing what he loved best – visiting his brothers and sisters, playing with grandkids and fishing. He was surely blessed to have enjoyed watching most of them grow up to have loving families of their own.
Our success is in part to the many prayers both our loving parents said over us and their incessant belief in us even when we didn’t believe in ourselves. He always told us to be tough and not to worry. "Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain." Remember to dance… – and we know not to worry. He is certainly a part of us and will live in us forever.
Arnold was preceded in death by: his parents; the love of his life Doris, one brother, Jack, and three sisters: Margret, Edna and Emogene. He is survived by: four daughters: Maureen and her husband, Dale; Becky and her husband, Neil; Lori and her husband,Chris; Kristi and her husband, Richard; one son, Terry and his wife, Lucy; fourteen grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; four brothers, Herb, Wally, Ivan and his wife Darlene, Richard and his wife Marilyn; and many other relatives and friends.