Arne R. Moen was born on March 26, 1930 to Borghild (Nelson) and Olaf Moen. He was the 8th of 12 children. He frequently commented that he was sure glad his folks named him Arne, ‘cause that was what everyone called him!! He celebrated his 89th birthday six weeks prior to his passing with many close friends attending. It was a good day.
Arne was raised on the family farm south of Minot, ND and later near Carpio, ND. Growing up in the “dirty thirties” taught Arne to “make do with what you got” – living that motto throughout his life. He was very proud of his frugalness. His favorite place to shop was the “Coram Mall.”
When he was about three years old he became very ill with spinal meningitis, losing his ability to walk and talk, and was unable to feed or dress himself. Re-learning these is probably when his independence, determination, and temper were born! Later on he balanced these with a great silliness about him.
Arne entered in the Navy in 1948. He was stationed in the Mediterranean, Italy, Crete, France, Gibraltar, and Africa. After being honorably discharged in 1952, Arne worked for his dad and local farmers and did carpentry work. In 1958 Arne went to Glacier National Park for a summer job and ended up staying for a lifetime! His superb work ethic inspired fellow employees and supervisors and earned him a permanent position with The Park working on trails and roads. When his friends saw him mowing the ditches they often commented “There’s Arne mowing.” (Moen) He retired from the Park Service in 1990.
Throughout his retirement Arne took on a new role for his neighbors on Coram Stage Road. He did whatever needed to be done, never asking for anything in return. He was known for plowing the snow and general landscaping. He was the ‘go to’ guy. Once he was called upon in the middle of the night to dispose of a dead mouse, which he did….in his underwear! His neighbors often said that they had a great neighborhood and it ended at Arne’s back door! Arne was rewarded with many home-cooked meals, which he truly loved. It was a win-win situation; these neighbors became his family. When life moved him to assisted living, he continued to worry about ‘who would plow the snow or cut the grass?” for his Coram family. “If you ever needed a good friend, Arne was the one to have.” –quote from one of his friends.
Arne lived a simple life. He was a great whittler, fashioning many things from cowboy boot earrings to ducks, geese, and airplanes. His replica of a B-29 Bomber and hangar is displayed at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot, ND. He could fix or invent anything to improve his way of life and save a buck!
Life was always good when Arne was around. Good jokes. Laughter. Fun!! His sense of humor enriched everyone around him, especially his nieces and nephews as they were growing up. He always said “If you don’t have a sense of humor you don’t have anything.”
Arne passed away May 8, 2019 in Columbia Falls, MT. He apologizes for not making it to his 90th birthday.
“Uncle Arne” a.k.a “Big A.R.M.” will be remembered by his quick wit, his jokes, and his signature sayings…How you doing Arne? “I’m really, really good!” “I’m so mad I could squeeze a grape!” “Good-er than gum!” “Well, men think different than women.” How are you feeling today? “With my fingers.” “Why be so difficult? With a little more effort you could be impossible.” “Try it, you’ll LIKE it!” When he said “No Comment” You knew the conversation was over!
Arne was preceded in death by his parents Olaf and Borghild Moen, sisters; Olga Heller, Berliot Munson, Ella Hendrickson, Lilly Heller, Ida Heller, Evelyn Grabow, Ester Lemons; brothers: Herbert, George, and Melvin; nine nieces and nephews.
Those left to mourn his passing include his sister Florence Kennedy, Cheyenne, WY; 33 nieces and nephews, his ‘partners in crime’ special niece Ramona Johnson and Arne’s very close and dear friend Munch(Cindy) Woods, his special neighbors and friends, and caregivers at Bee Hive Homes.
Per Arne’s wishes no services will be held. Inurnment will be at a later date in Des Lacs Valley Cemetery, rural Foxholm, ND.
Memorials are preferred to Kalispell Frontier Hospice, 42 Bruyer Way, Kalispell, MT 59901 or charity of your choice.