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Arlene J. Steffen

Arlene J. Steffen

December 11, 2017

Arlene Steffen, 92, died Monday, December 11, 2017 at Dove Healthcare West in Eau Claire.

The former Arlene June Braithwaite was born June 23, 1925 in Bloom Township near Richland Center, Wis., where she was raised. She started school early, tagging along with her father who was a one-room schoolteacher. Growing up, she excelled in her studies and particularly loved music - singing in choirs and ensembles and playing piano and bassoon.

A 1943 Richland Center High School graduate, she went to work in town as a bookkeeper at Schmitt Brothers Creamery. Her supervisor at work introduced her by letter to his brother-in-law, Fred Steffen, and then in person after he returned from service at the end of WWII.

The couple married in Richland Center on April 20, 1947, and moved to Eau Claire where Fred worked for the Eau Claire Leader. Together they raised three children. In 1957, they moved their family to Washington, D.C., where Fred served a two-year appointment as secretary to U.S. Rep. Lester Johnson. They returned to Eau Claire and settled there permanently when Fred rejoined the Leader-Telegram staff.

Arlene spent many years as a happily married wife, mother and homemaker. After the children were older, she enjoyed working in retail at the Hallmark card store in London Square Mall. She was involved in church activities throughout her life, most recently at Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church. She will be remembered as a devoted friend and for her gift of hospitality. She enjoyed traveling, singing, knitting, reading, and word puzzles. An avid bird watcher, she particularly loved cardinals.

She is survived by her brother, Dean of Richland Center; sons, Robert (Elizabeth) of Hudson, and Donald of Menomonie; daughter, Gail (Richard) Yule of Eau Claire; grandchildren, Aaron (Emily) Steffen of Roberts, Jordan (Lanae) Steffen of Roberts, Nicole (Dillon) Anderson of Ellendale, Minn., and Zachary Wiegand of Stanley; great-grandchildren, Ezekiel and Esther Steffen, Rosalie Steffen, Pierce, Sealey, Ever and Lake Anderson, and Buckley Wiegand; many other family members and friends.

Arlene was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Fred (May 2013); her mother, Gail (April 1969); her father, Bill (Sept. 1990); and a brother who died at birth.

The family thanks the staff and community at Good Shepherd Senior Apartments, her most recent home; Dr. Reggie Cosiquien, Dove Healthcare West and Mayo Clinic Hospice for their professional and compassionate care.


Celebration Service: 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church (123 W. Hamilton Ave.) with Pastor Kirk Militzer officiating.

Visitation: from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 27) at the funeral home and also one hour prior to the service at church

Entombment: Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Spooner, Wisconsin

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred which will be distributed to Arlene's favorite charities.