Arlene Ann Branwall, age 75, White Bear Lake, dies

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m.on Thursday, October 26

Arlene Ann Branwall, age 75, White Bear Lake, passed away peacefully and gracefully with family by her side after an 18 year courageous battle against breast cancer. Survived by her loving husband and best friend, Lee, and children, Eric (Jill), Davin, daughter-in-law Michelle Branwall Harty, sisters-in-law, Donna (James) Hill and Tina Chiabotti; brother-in-law Jack Achterberg and special cousin Joann Grahek. Grandchildren: Lindsey Branwall, Nathan Branwall, Lane Branwall, Tyra Branwall and Tristan Branwall and the three neighborhood Greene boys who adopted her as their grandma. She was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Esther Espland, son Lee Branwall, Jr. and sisters-in-law Nancy (Jack) Achterberg and Rita (Steve) Sunsdahl.
Born at her Aunt’s log cabin on Burntside Lake in Ely, graduated from Ely Memorial High School class of 1960, Minnesota School of Business class of 1961, married Lee Branwall in 1961 and they moved to Marietta, Georgia where they both worked at Lockheed Aircraft. The family moved to White Bear Lake, MN in 1967, and she worked at 3M in Medical Products for two years and then became a full time homemaker. In 1977 the family relocated to Italy for three years for 3M and returned to White Bear Lake in 1980. She formed her own business, Branwall International Relocations, and contracted with 3M for 25 years managing all aspects of relocating 3M foreign families to St. Paul and providing 24/7 support throughout their one to 5 year stay for 300 plus families over the 25 years. Her caring and outgoing personality was a perfect fit for this job.
She was proud of her Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish ancestry and was fluent in Finnish and Italian. She was a member of the 3M Language Society where she taught Finnish and Italian for 15 years. She Joined TOPS in 1985 and reached her weight loss goal the first year and was honored as the TOPS Minnesota State Champion in her weight class that year and was proud of the fact that she maintained that weight for the 35 years she was a member.
She and her husband loved to travel and were their own travel agents and used Frommer, Fodor, AAA and Berlitz Travel guides for accommodations, eating, attractions and language. They traveled to 49 of the 50 US States, almost all Western and Eastern European countries, Iceland, Japan, China and New Zealand, and only took two tours.
Her favorite hobbies were cooking gourmet meals, photography, vegetable and flower gardening, sewing fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, knitting for family and charities, volunteering at her churches and watching football.
She relished spending summers and winters at their cabin on Lake Vermilion, enjoying feeding and watching all of the wildlife and fishing as much as possible.
Most of all she was a caring individual who had a smile for everyone and would always put other people’s needs first and was there to help anyone and everyone who was in need. Little children flocked to her like she was a pied piper.
She lived a full life and packed everything she could into every day and her motto was, “be kind to everybody.”
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m.on Thursday, October 26, at HONSA FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 2460 East County Road E, White Bear Lake and one hour prior to the service at the church. A Celebration of Life will be at 11 a.m. Friday October 26, at ST. STEPHEN LUTHERAN CHURCH, 1965 East County Road E, White Bear Lake. Burial will be Saturday in the Branwall family lot at Lakeview Cemetery in Tower, MN. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St. Stephen Lutheran Church.