Arlyn Wadholm

June 28, 1935-Oct. 9, 2020

Arlyn was born on June

28, 1935, at Stanley. It

was the day after a devas-

tating tornado had hit

Mountrail County and the

hospital was full. She was

the second daughter born

to Mabel Elizabeth (Mey-

erdirk) and Loran “Lee”

Stout. Arlyn was taken

home to a farm south of

New Town that her dad-

dy, uncles, and Grandma

Lucy Jane, homesteaded

in 1915.

At the age of five, her

life was torn apart when

her parents divorced and

Mabel took Arlyn, her sis-

ter Dixie, and her little

brother Teddy, to live in

Minot. They later moved

to Garrison, where Mabel

remarried and gave birth

to a little sister Alma. The

years that Arlyn lived

away from the farm, her

daddy Lee would come

and get his three children

as often as he could.

Arlyn had a real direc-

tive point in her life when

Mabel decided to move to

Oregon and take the kids

with her. At eleven years

old, Arlyn cried her heart

out, not wanting to leave

her daddy all alone

without his children. The

Lord told Arlyn she must

stay in North Dakota, so

she listened. Mabel would

only agree to leave the

kids with Lee if he would

raise them in town. Lee,

and his brother Ed,

moved with the kids to a

house in Sanish. Because

of the move, the brothers

had to sell their 30 horses,

which broke Arlyn’s

heart. Her Uncle Ed took

on the mother role with

quiet strength and kind-

ness in the caring of the


Arlyn attended Sanish

High School and was of

its last graduating class in

1953. Lee made sure that

she was proud of her 6 ft

Ç inch height. Slouching

to match the height of the

other girls was never an

option. She later attended

Minot State Teachers Col-

lege. After receiving her

teaching certificate, she

taught at a rural school for

one year.

Arlyn married Theo-

dore “Ted” Wadholm on

August 31, 1957, at Bethel

Lutheran Church, in New

Town. The couple built a

house in New Town. Ar-

lyn worked at the Ben

Franklin store until her

daughter Lorna was born

in 1965. Lorna was usual-

ly carted along to the farm

with Arlyn and Lee while

Ted worked as an auto

mechanic in town. Anoth-

er daughter Charlotte was

born in 1969.

The family moved to

the farm in 1976. They be-

gan remodeling the origi-

nal 1915 house, which

was moved from Sanish

in 1953; an addition was

built so that Lee could

have his own living area.

Arlyn and Ted started

purchasing the farm from

Lee, who later passed

away in 1978.

Arlyn was very active

in the Ladies Aid, Circle,

teaching Sunday School,

and Church Council of

Bethel Lutheran Church.

She was on the city coun-

cil for a time. She took ad-

vantage of evening classes

that were offered in New

Town, including a weld-

ing class. Her favorite

places in New Town

seemed to be the library,

the grain elevator, the

lumberyard, the hardware

store, and the fabric store.

Arlyn loved

semi-trucks, big earth

moving equipment, and

tractors. She had a soft

spot for truck drivers.

When she met them on

the road, she’d motion for

them to pull their horn.

She named all her vehi-

cles, tractors, grain trucks,


(Dodie, Stew, Mini,

Emma, Elly, etc!)

She was also fascinated

by history and loved

trains. Being able to stand

right where the Golden

Spike had been driven in

1869, to connect the Un-

ion Pacific and the Cen-

tral Pacific Rail lines, in

Promontory, UT, was a

thrilling event for her.

Arlyn learned to drive a

tractor at an incredibly

young age. Being covered

in dirt was okay with her.

She worked hard her

whole life loving the farm,

the outdoors and always

thinking up projects for

improvement. She hired

various young people to

help her with these pro-

jects and the farm work,

mainly to teach them

work ethics and skills.

Passing on her

knowledge, history, and

skills, to her grandchil-

dren was especially im-

portant to her. “We’re

burnin’ daylight” is a

phrase she often spoke

when things needed to be


Farming was her liveli-

hood, so she was honored

when she and Ted re-

ceived the Ft. Berthold

Soil Conservation Service

Award in 1981. They were

a great team. Arlyn would

come up with something,

an idea or design, and Ted

would make it, usually

with a welder. They both

worked hard to build up

the farm. His mechanical

expertise was a necessity

for all the equipment. Ar-

lyn always called him

“Mr. Goodwrench.” Ted

passed away on January

28, 1996.

They opened their

home to many people.

They invited two foreign

exchange students at

separate times. The first

from Norway in 1982 and

the second from Germany

in 1983. They both

remained Arlyn’s

daughters and have been

back to visit several times.

Arlyn was blessed to be

able to go overseas to visit

both in 1998.

Arlyn had the most

unique way of thinking.

When she received a bo-

vine heart valve replace-

ment in 2003, she de-

clared that she had

“finally become a


Arlyn enjoyed reading

immensely. Her very large

collection of books, which

began with Zane Grey and

Nancy Drew, has only re-

cently ceased to grow. Her

other passions, besides

family and farming, in-

cluded gardening,

landscaping, wild birds,

poetry and politics. She

remembered sitting on her

daddy’s lap at the age of 4

listening to the news on

the radio. She’s been

listening and learning pol-

itics, and enjoying dis-

cussing it, ever since.

Arlyn was very kind

and generous to many in

need. She often went out

on a limb for those who

needed a place to stay or

who needed some work.

Those who have had the

misfortune of being a reci-

pient of the “Wadholm

beller” will most likely

never forget it, and nei-

ther will we. Throughout

her life, shed lived the

lessons learned in her eti-

quette book and tried her

best to be a lady.

Arlyn was surrounded

by her daughters and

granddaughters at a hospi-

tal in Fargo when she

peacefully went to Jesus,

on October 9, 2020. Her

generous spirit lives on in

the donation of her tissues

and corneas.

She was preceded in

death by: her parents;

husband, Ted; brother,

Teddy Stout; sister, Dixie

Hanley; granddaughter,

Casandra “Casie”

Chagis-Bell; and stepson,

Larry Wadholm.

She is survived by: her

sister, Alma McGregor of

St. Marys, GA; daughters,

Lorna (Mike) Elton of New

Town and Charlotte (Da-

rin) Swensrud of Willis-

ton; stepson, Ted (Retta)

Wadholm of San Jose CA;

grandchildren, Kelly El-

ton, Jen (Torey) Forward,

and Loran Elton, all of

Grand Forks; Zane

Swensrud of Phoenix, AZ

and Elizabeth Swensrud

of Williston;


Dylan and Braden Elton

and Kisa Dohmstriech, all

of Minot; Jack, Jocelyn,

Jayden, and Jamison For-

ward, all of Grand Forks;

and numerous nieces and


Memorial Service: Sa-

turday, October 17, 2020

at 2:00 p.m. at Bethel

Lutheran Church, New


Graveside Cremains

Burial: Saturday follow-

ing the service at Van

Hook Cemetery, rural

New Town

(Langhans Funeral

Home, Parshall)