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Official Obituary of

Ronald "Ron" James Arel

March 18, 1952 ~ February 17, 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Ronald "Ron" Arel Obituary

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Ronald “Ron” James Arel, age 71, died Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota surrounded by his family.

Visitation will be held at Olson Schwartz Funeral Home in Bemidji on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 5:00-7:00 pm, followed by a Prayer Service and Rosary at 7:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday, February 24, 2024, at St. Philips Catholic Church in Bemidji at 10:30 am. Father Michael Arey will officiate. Visitation will start one hour prior.

Ron was born on March 18th, 1952, to Frank & Eva Arel in Crookston, Minnesota. There, Ron grew up with his 7 siblings. He attended St. Joseph’s Academy and then Mount St. Benedict High School. After high school Ron attended the University of Minnesota Crookston and the University of North Dakota. While in college, Ron met the love of his life Donna Drellack. They got married on January 18, 1975, and moved to Bemidji, MN in 1976. Together they had two children, Heather (Arel) Dixon and Bradley Arel. Ron’s wife and children were the light of his life.

Ron started his working years at Burlington Northern Railroad. He then started his time with JCPenneys while in Crookston. He later became a department manager at JCPenney in Bemidji. Following a transfer he and his family moved to Mankato, MN. Ron worked at JCPenney for a combined 18 years.  After leaving JCPenney, Ron started a ChemDry carpet cleaning company in Mankato for 5 years where his son, Brad, helped him. After leaving Mankato, Ron and his family returned to Bemidji where they opened A&D Interiors in the Mall. After leaving the furniture store Ron worked at the Bemidji Pioneer for 20 years. In 2016 Ron retired and this allowed him to devote himself to his favorite and final job… being Grandpa.

Ron was known by many as the man who always had a big smile on his face and many words to say. He could strike up a conversation with anyone. Ron always built everyone up around him. He was a devoted member of St. Philips Catholic Church, and his Catholic faith played a huge role throughout his entire life. In 1971, he joined the Knights of Columbus. Ron is well known for running the Knights of Columbus hotdog stand and rib dinners. Some of Ron’s passions were playing city and church league softball, partaking in bowling leagues, and calling his loved ones.

However, above all else, Ron’s greatest joy was his family. Ron was always there. Whether it be the football field, basketball court, track, tennis court, show choir, choir concerts, swim meets or dance recitals, if there was something his Grandkids were in, Ron was there. Ron was truly his grandkids biggest fan. All the way to the end of his life, Ron displayed the passion and love he had for his family.

Ron is survived by his wife, Donna, of 49 years; daughter, Heather (Jim) Dixon, son, Bradley (Monica) Arel; 7 grandchildren; Dominic and Mariah Dixon, Matthew, Abigail, Joshua, Elizabeth, and John Arel; siblings Kathy (Greg) Piche, Annette (Keith) Strack, Rosie (Jack) Tucker, Gerald (Carol) Arel, brother-in-law Dick Dols; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Frank & Eva Arel, and his sisters Madonna Arel, Jan (Arel) Dols and Karen Arel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be sent to The Lumberjack Field Improvement Project Fund or any Lumberjack Athletics.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ronald "Ron" James Arel, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Visitation
Friday
February 23, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home
3330 Irvine Ave. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Prayer Service
Friday
February 23, 2024

7:00 PM
Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home
3330 Irvine Ave. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Recitation of the Rosary
Friday
February 23, 2024

7:30 PM
Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home
3330 Irvine Ave. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Visitation
Saturday
February 24, 2024

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
St. Philips Catholic Church
702 Beltrami Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday
February 24, 2024

10:30 AM
St. Philips Catholic Church
702 Beltrami Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

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