Arvilla West


Arvilla Dianne (Westlund) West, 85, of Athens, OH (formerly of Lake Park & Hawley, MN), passed away under the care of Hospice at The Laurels of Athens Nursing Home on January 20, 2023. Arvilla was born on September 27, 1937, to Albert and Alice (Teigen) Westlund on their farm in rural Lake Park, MN. She attended District 10 primary school and graduated from Lake Park High School in 1955. Following high school she worked briefly at the Gopher Grill in Detroit Lakes, MN, and then took a position as a telephone operator at Northwestern Bell in Fargo, ND. She met her future husband, Thomas West, at a Farmer’s Union Meeting in Lake Park where she and her sister, Ardis, were performing an accordion duet.

She and Tom married on November 1, 1957, at Park Lutheran Church in Hawley, MN. They resided in Glyndon, MN, with Tom’s father and brothers. After the birth of their first child, they moved to a farm in Lake Park, MN in March of 1959. Arvilla was a full-time homemaker until 1968 when she began working for St. Mary’s Hospital, Detroit Lakes, as an insurance clerk. In 1974 she returned to Northwestern Bell, this time as a Service Consultant in Detroit Lakes, where she worked until her retirement in 1981.

Arvilla was an active member of Park Lutheran Church in rural Hawley, serving as the organist for more than 30 years. At various times, she was also the Sunday School Superintendent, a Sunday School Teacher, church council Vice President, member of the call committee and Treasurer of the Ladies Aid.

In her “spare” time, she kept busy tending to a sprawling garden, canning vegetables and making dill pickles as well as embroidering several hundred sets of dishtowels, making numerous quilts for her children and grandchildren and crocheting intricate doilies, baptismal gowns, tablecloths and baby blankets.

She and Tom took great pride in their farm, making it their family’s home for 41 years. Following her husband’s passing in 2000, she continued to live on and take care of the farm until 2004 when she sold it to her second cousin, once removed and moved into her new townhome in Hawley. In 2011, she moved from Hawley to Athens, OH to live with her youngest son and his family, where she resided until her death.

Arvilla is survived by her children: Thomas of Angleton, TX; Joel (Gloria) of Osceola, WI; Donna (Stephen Walker) of Dilworth, MN; and Daniel (Vicki Seefeldt) of Athens, OH; grandchildren: Josette of Portland, ME; Elizabeth (A.J. Meadows) of St. Croix Falls, WI; and Nora of Athens, OH; a brother, Richard (Arlette) Westlund of Detroit Lakes, MN; a sister: Phyllis Keeping Sagen of Lake Park, MN; a sister-in-law, Margie Westlund of Lake Park, MN and a brother-in-law, Kenneth West, of Glyndon, MN; as well as 52 nieces and nephews and more than one hundred great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Albert and Alice Westlund; her husband Thomas; an infant son, John; and siblings: Duane, Marvin and Ardis Syvertson.

A graveside service and memorial gathering will be held in Minnesota in the summer. Local arrangements re with Jagers & Sons Funeral Home. Please share a memory, a note of condolence or sign the online register at

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