Arlene Iola Swenson Odbert, 89, of Bismarck, N.Dak., formerly of North Platte, passed away on Mar. 1, at her daughter''s home in Bismarck. Arlene was born the oldest of eight children on May 20, 1923, in River Falls, Wis. to Walter Edwin and Nettie Adelaid Anderson Swenson.
She grew up in River Falls and graduated high school. In 1944, Arlene graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Red Wing, Minn. She then served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1946, working as a general duty nurse. Arlene worked in several hospitals during her lifetime and served as Director of Nursing at Lexington for five years. She retired from her chosen profession in North Platte.
On Jan. 2, 1946, Arlene married Alonzo "Lonnie" Edwin Odbert, Jr. in Colorado Springs, Colo. They were married 47 years until Lonnie passed away in North Platte on Nov. 2, 1993. During their marriage they resided in eight different Nebraska towns and cities. Due to health issues, Arlene later moved to Lincoln where she resided with her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Patricia. Later, she moved to Bismarck to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Annette and Michael Bloom.
Arlene’s life was filled with many interests and outside activities. She was an active member of Bethel Church in North Platte. Her ministries included visiting with shut-ins and providing respite care for the ill and dying. She also taught in the Greenhouse Ministry for 12 years and provided a special ministry for repairing broken Bibles.
Arlene dabbled in politics and was a member of League of Women Voters in Kearney. She also enjoyed Public Radio and Television and Christian Radio.
Arlene is survived by her son, Michael (Patricia) Odbert, of Lincoln; her daughter, Annette (Michael) Bloom, of Bismarck; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; three sisters, Verda (Bob) Grefe, of Prairie Farm, Wis., Norma (Lloyd) Nelson, of Rochester, Minn. and Edith (Minnard) Hojem, of Baldwin, Wis.; a brother, Roger (Pat) Swenson, of River Falls; and other family.
Along with her husband, Arlene was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Shirley Swenson Sitz; and two brothers, John and David Swenson.
A private graveside funeral service was Ft. McPherson National Cemetery. Odean Colonial Chapel was in charge of arrangements.