Our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend, Phyllis Lorraine Dittes Arneson, left us to go into the arms of her loving father in heaven on Saturday, May 1, 2010.
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Phyllis was born on May 22, 1922, in Milbank, S.D., to Henry and Mathilda (Kamin) Dittes, the oldest of five children. She was raised in the Ortonville, Minn., area, graduating from Ortonville High School in 1940.
She met the love of her life, Calvin A. Arneson, in Ortonville, and they were married in Camp Clayborn, La., in 1941, right before he left to go to North Africa for World War II. When Calvin returned after the war ended, he was welcomed home by Phyllis and their firstborn, 2-year-old son Dennis, in 1944. The next few years brought three more sons, Robert, David, and Leroy, followed by their first daughter, Lorri. Several years later, their daughter Keli was born.
In the spring of 1962, the family traveled west and settled in Bozeman on Calvin's mother's ranch in the Four Corners area.
Phyllis, who taught herself to sew at age 6, worked for several area dress shops, including Chambers Fishers, Hartman-Mockel, Angionettes, Corral West, and Williams Clothiers, and she sewed personally for many area people. Calvin and Phyllis owned Northside Meat Market in Bozeman for many years.
Phyllis was a lifetime member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Hope Lutheran Church, and numerous volunteer organizations.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin; daughter and son-in-law, Lorri and Patrick Roberts; grandson, Christopher Arneson; her parents; her brother, Ralph and his wife, Ruth and their son, Loren Dittes; and an infant sister.
Phyllis is survived by children: Denny (Kathy) of Hayden Lake, Idaho; Bob (DiLyn) of Bozeman; David (Shanna) of Bayview, Idaho; Leroy (Karen) of Belgrade; and Keli (Kelly) Harrigfeld of Toston; 15 grandchildren - Denny's: Eric and Heidi, Lisi Frum, and Tracey (Andrew) Moren; Bob's: James (Sandy) Conrad, Chris (Aubrey), and Kevin; David's: Chad and Jacob; Leroy's: Joey (Kara) and Jerry; Keli's: Patrick (Rusti), Daniel (Kendyl), Amanda and Ceara Harrigfeld; and 13 (and one on the way) great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers, Karl (Lois) Dittes of Wilmar, Minn., and Harold (Rosella) Dittes of Ortonville, Minn.; and many nieces, nephews and so many dear friends.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31, at Hope Lutheran Church on South 19th.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the VFW Auxiliary, Montana Special Olympics, or to the Bozeman Senior Center.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 7, 2010