Arlene R. Grassel was born on January 28, 1924, in Sioux Falls to John and Laura (Lampson) Doyle. Arlene grew up and went to school in Madison. She attended nurses training in Mitchell where she was fondly known as “Doyle.” While in training, she would meet her future husband John Grassel, to whom she would be married for 65 years. Arlene married John on May 10, 1947, in Brookings, after which they made their home on the farm north of Artesian. Arlene commuted to St. Joseph’s Hospital for two years before retiring from nursing to partner with John in building their rapidly expanding Hereford livestock business.
Arlene along with John was a member of St. Charles Catholic Church in Artesian where she was involved with the Altar Society, volunteering for many years on the cemetery committee. Arlene will always be known for planting trees, growing tomatoes, tending her flowerbeds, and watching birds from the kitchen table. Her home was full of laughter and tears while raising children and grandchildren and entertaining John’s associates and buyers in the bull-sale business. Arlene was most famous for her infectious laugh. They lived on the farm until 2009 when they moved to Mitchell.
Arlene is survived by her loving husband and life partner John; daughter, Kathleen of Albuquerque, NM; daughter, Karen Hilgenberg and her husband, Dan of Milbank; daughter-in-law, Wanda Grassel Clarke and husband, Dave of Howard; and five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren: Tanya Grassel Krietlow and husband Kurt of Pierre, and their children Molly and Dalton; Shaun Grassel and wife Marcie Carter of Lewiston, ID, and their children Michael and Zoe; Shana Grassel Harming and husband Mark of Elkton, and their children Taylor, Cameron, Marcus and Miles; Jeff Hilgenberg and wife Kim of Sioux Falls, and their children Jack, Max, and Hannah; and Alex Hilgenberg and wife Jessie of Reno, NV. Arlene is preceded in death by her parents and her children Michael and Bernie.