Arlen "AJ" Wiese
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Arlen "AJ" Wiese died July 13, 2013, in Sioux Falls. He was 82.
Arlen James Wiese was born December 20, 1930, at Tyler, MN, to Leo and Mabel (Stroh) Wiese. Arlen attended Brookings High School. On August 27, 1948, at age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He became a Paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division, stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia. Arlen completed over 50 jumps as a member of the 505th parachute infantry. He was discharged on August 27, 1953.
Following his military service, he began working for Frank Willard, driving truck out of Brookings, SD. He then worked for Bozied Livestock, and Appleline Inc. from Madison, SD, hauling eggs. In 1956, he bought his first semi-truck leased to Wilson Trucking, which was eventually bought by Midwest Coast trucking.
In 1960, he married Mary Ann Foley (Strohm) in Pipestone, Minnesota. She had three children. They moved to Sioux Falls from Madison, SD. He then drove truck for Midwest Coast and All-American Freight Co., carrying Cargo all over the United States. In his spare time, he enjoyed camping and traveling with his family. Arlen was a member of the Moose lodge.
In 1971, Arlen started his own Trucking Business, "Arlen Wiese Trucking," leasing his trucks to All American Freight and Midwest Coast. At one time, Arlen had a fleet of 16 trucks.
On November 16, 1976, Arlen became a member of the Masonic Temple, Trinity Lodge #200 A.F. and A.M., York Rite, and El Riad Shrine. He also joined the Shrine's Oriental Band, (OB) where he became the bass lead drummer in 1981, and led the Oriental Marching Band for over 20 years, traveling throughout the state. He was President of the Oriental Band in 1988. Arlen was also a Road Runner, and drove children to and from the Shriner's Hospital for Children, in the Twin Cities.
In 1976, he bought his first plane; a Cessna 172 four-seater. He enjoyed flying with family and friends. That year, he also became a Grandpa with his first granddaughter, Jaime. In 1984, he bought the Time Out Lounge, later selling it in 1988. During that year, he semi-retired from "Arlen Wiese Trucking", and scaled back to owning two trucks. He enjoyed traveling in his custom made KenWorth Motor Home, and attended Air Races, Nascar Races and traveled with the Oriental Band all over the states. He retired in 1995.
In addition to Nascar, AJ enjoyed watching the Minnesota Twins, and playing Pitch at the American Legion on Friday nights with his friends. He also enjoyed reading history books, and was always up on current news. Arlen was like a "human road map." There was hardly a road he didn't know; he knew where all roads led, and how many miles it would take to get there!
AJ collected coins, model cars, planes, trucks and liked watching old movies from the past. He also enjoyed volunteering at the American Legion for their monthly Pancake Breakfast and at the El Riad Shrine. Because of his perfect driving record, Arlen had the privilege of driving President Reagan from the Sioux Falls airport to his destination.
Survivors Include three children: Tom and (Mary) Foley of Sioux Falls; Kathy(Scott) Gilbert of Sioux Falls; Cindy Johanson of Sioux Falls; and a sister, Lorna(Ed) Prell of Eau Claire, Wl. In addition to his wife, Mary, he was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Betty and Marlys.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 Tuesday at Miller Funeral Home, with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery. No formal visitation is planned prior to the service.
Memorials may be directed to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, Twin Cities.
Miller Funeral Home
507 South Main Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Published in The Argus Leader on July 15, 2013