Arba-Della Beck was born June 21, 1952 to Albert and Esther Bauer Beck in Eureka S.D. She was the youngest of four children and was baptized and confirmed in the Hoffnungstal Lutheran Church. Arba-Della married Mark Wahlstrom in 1975 and they were blessed with two sons, Dustin who now lives in Texas and Aaron who lives in Minnesota. In 1987 she married Steve Wohlfeil. They were blessed with a son, Andrew, and a daughter Emily who both live in Minnesota.
Arba-Della grew up on a farm near Eureka, SD. Like most children that grew up on farms she learned to garden, feed cattle and pigs, pick rocks, haul bales, and drive a tractor at a young age. She was a sweet child with blonde curls. Even at a young age she had a heart for God’s creatures who were lost or hurting – a duck who needed to be cared for, a baby raccoon who was separated from his mom, and for lost kittens. Arba-Della’s formal education began at Postal country school out on the prairie. She graduated in 1970 from Eureka High School where she participated in music programs. She played piano for graduations and various choir functions as well as for conferences in the area. Arba-Della also played the organ for church. In 1970 she was crowned South Dakota’s Snow Queen.
Arba-Della attended college at South Dakota State University where she earned a degree in Child Development in 1974. She continued her education at the University of Iowa where in 1979 she earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work. After graduating from SDSU, she went to work with Lutheran Social Services (LSS) in Sioux Falls. Her education prepared her to help those who are hurting and to make the world a better place. During her time with LSS, Arba-Della showed her compassionate heart in her first major assignment while serving as Director on the Refuge Settlement Program from 1974 to 1986. In 1996 she was selected to become the President of FamilyMeans in Stillwater, MN. Under her direction, FamilyMeans grew in its mission to strengthen communities by helping individuals and families through all challenges in life, including counseling and therapy, caregiving and aging, financial solution and debt management, youth development, grief and loss, and so much more. After serving for 45 years, she retired in June 2020.
Based on this information you would think that work was the most important part of Arba-Della’s life, but in truth family always came first. Arba-Della was blessed with four children and three grandchildren. Throughout her life she taught her family how to be passionate about the world around them – a love for animals, community, and other people. She celebrated all of life’s moments – from birthday parties to pre-school graduations – and sacrificed her own desires to ensure opportunities and experiences for her children, helping them travel the world, gain an education, and provide for their own families. Arba-Della’s greatest joy in life was seeing her children learn, grow, and become better people. She was looking forward to doing it all over again in retirement with her lovely grandchildren, who will carry on her passions.
Arba-Della was preceded in death by her father, Albert, her mother Esther Beck, brother Steven, sister Caroline, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Arba-Della is survived by her children: Dustin (Laura), Aaron (Melisa), Andrew (Kim), and Emily (Brock); her grandchildren Charlotte, Matthew, and Carter; her sister Bonnie and her husband Douglas, a niece Michelle Hanson, nephews David Hanson and Jason Kenny.
God placed in Arba-Della’s heart a desire to serve others and to make her area of influence a better place. She served many, and taught her children to serve as well. She set an example for all of us, and we are thankful for the privilege of knowing Arba-Della and serving with her.
Visitation will be 5-7pm Friday, June 25 at BRADSHAW CELEBRATION OF LIFE CENTER, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd, Stillwater, MN 55082.
Funeral service will be 11am Saturday at TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 115 4th St N, Stillwater.
PLEASE NOTE: Masks are required, regardless of vaccination status. Maximum capacity is 300, registration is required for the funeral service.
Registration link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044eadab28a1ff2-arbadella.
The service will be live-streamed on Trinity’s Facebook page at http://facebook.com/trinitylcstillwater/
The family requests that donations be made to FamilyMeans or Trinity Lutheran Church in lieu of flowers.