Donald Arm Obituary

Donald Arthur Arm
Donald Arthur Arm

November 23, 1933 - May 9, 2017
Resided in Alexandria, MN
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Donald Arm, age 83, of Alexandria, MN, formerly of Brooklyn Center, MN, died Tuesday, May 9, 2017. A memorial service will be held 11 AM Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria. Interment will follow at a later date in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 PM Friday at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria and also one hour prior to the service at church. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Calvary Church or the Lions Foundation.


Donald Arthur Arm was born November 23, 1933 in Ironton, MN, the son of Arthur and Eleanor (Palmer) Arm. While Don was an infant his father died. Eleanor was married to Russell Swearingen, the only father Don knew. Don was raised in Brainerd where he attended school. Following his schooling Don joined the United States Navy.

While in the Navy Don was served to refit the USS Wren, the fastest of the World War II destroyers. Once the refit was complete Don served aboard the Wren. Following his discharge from the Navy Don returned to Minnesota.

He began an apprenticeship as an electrician. Don was blessed with two daughters, Shari and Kelly, whom he raised on his own. Work brought Don to the Twin Cities where he worked as an electrician for several different companies.

On June 14, 1969 Don was united in marriage to Karen Bergquist in Detroit Lakes, MN. They were blessed with a son, Brian. Don and Karen made their home in Brooklyn Center, MN.

Don's dream in life was to live on a Minnesota lake. Following his retirement in 1995 Don and Karen found the dream on Lake Geneva in Alexandria. They moved to Lake Geneva in 2000.

Don enjoyed trap shooting and hunting trips to Wyoming. You couldn't take the Navy out of Don; he loved to take his boat onto the chain of lakes for a day of boating. Don also loved tinkering and fixing things; he always had some project going out in the garage.

Don was a very positive, optimistic person. He also loved people and loved to visit with them. He knew that humor was good for the soul and just plain fun; he always had a joke or story to make you laugh. Don wanted to make the world a better place for people and he was impatient regarding this. Don volunteered a tremendous amount of time and effort through his work in Lions Clubs and Habitat for Humanity. He served the Brooklyn Center and Alexandria Lions Clubs for about forty years.Through his efforts in Lions he has helped bring eyesight to the blind, eye care to those in need, leader dogs to those in need and much more. Don has received the highest honor that Lions International offers making him a Melvin Jones Fellow. Lending his skills and knowledge to Habitat for Humanity has helped provide homes for the people of Alexandria. Don never turned down a request for a helping hand; he served many other organizations throughout his community in any way he could.

Don's service in the Navy was something he was proud of and he is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 936 and American Legion Post 87. Church life was also important to Don. He was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria and former member of Brooklyn Park Lutheran Church. Don offered his time and skills to help on these churches on their work crews.

Don's drive to get it done, to offer himself for one more task, wore him out. He gave everything he had. On Tuesday, May 9, 2017 Don died at the age of eighty-three. Don was preceded in death by both of his parents; his step-father, Russell Swearingen; and two sisters, Arlene Benson and Karen Barnes. Don is survived by his wife, Karen Arm of Alexandria; two daughters, Shari Stromgren and husband, Stephen, of Brooklyn Park and Kelly Harden of Brooklyn Center; son, Brian Arm of Burnsville, MN; grandchildren, Stephanie Barnes, Jennifer Stromgren, Jonathan Stromgren, Joshua Stromgren, Heather Busey, Michele Olesen, Amber Hanson, Brandon Arm and Brylee Arm; nine great grandchildren; and brother, Danny Swearingen and wife, Marlene, of Coon Rapids, MN.

A memorial service was held Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria. Reverend Hans Dahl officiated. Interment will follow in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Military honors were accorded by the Fort Snelling Volunteer Rifle Squad. Memorials are preferred to Calvary Lutheran Church or the Lions Foundation.

Arrangements were with the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.





Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory
659 Voyager Drive NW
Alexandria, MN USA 56308
Friday, May 12, 2017
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Calvary Lutheran Church
605 Douglas St
Alexandria, MN 56308
Saturday, May 13, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Calvary Lutheran Church
605 Douglas St
Alexandria, MN 56308
Saturday, May 13, 2017
11:00 AM
Fort Snelling National Cemetery
7601 34th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55450
Thursday, May 18, 2017
1:45 PM
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