Arne Saari, 83Arne Arnold Saari, age 83, passed away February 20, 2013 at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, from complications following a stroke.
Arne Arnold Saari, age 83, passed away February 20, 2013 at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, from complications following a stroke.
He was born March 9, 1929 in New York City to Lauri and Martha (Peltonen) Saari. As a child, he moved to Lead, South Dakota, where his father worked in the gold mines. His family then bought a farm in Cokato, where he lived until he graduated from high school.
Arne married Frances Sanzo in Minneapolis in 1950 and they had six children. After serving in the U.S. Army, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in mining engineering. He worked for 3M in St. Paul and at 3M’s manufacturing facility in Fairmont. In 1974, he moved with his family to Garfield and became the owner of Fran and Arne’s Bar, which he successfully operated for 25 years.
Arne was an avid golfer and long-time member of the Alexandria Golf Club. He was an expert outdoor sportsman and enjoyed duck hunting, deer hunting and ice fishing. He was a member of the Eagles and Elks clubs and the American Legion and was a strong supporter of Ducks Unlimited.
Arne was fluent in Finnish and he took an extended trip to Finland, visiting the birthplace of both his mother and father. His proudest accomplishment was building a home with his own hands on his wooded property near Lake Ida, which he shared for the last 10 years with his loving companion, Janice Floding.
Arne was preceded in death by his wife, Frances (Sanzo); and his sons, Rick and Randy.
He is survived by his partner, Janice Floding of Alexandria; his children, Carla Christensen (Michael) of San Diego, CA, Robert Saari (Denise) of Crystal, Cheri Saari (Rod Otten) of Hudson, WI, and Christi Saari (Gary Roach) of St. Paul. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Megan and Luke Saari, Drew Christensen, Samantha and Christopher Otten, and Jonas Roach; and one great-grandchild, Lanie Saari.
A public memorial for Arne will be held at the Garfield Pub (formerly Fran and Arne’s Bar) in Garfield on Saturday, March 16 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
His ashes will be scattered in a private family ceremony to be held this coming summer.