Arlene Beverly Houlihan, 86

Jay Schneider
Arlene Beverly Houlihan of Decorah, Iowa, died peacefully at the Aase Haugen Senior Services on March 30, 2018. She was 86 years old. Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2018 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah with Rev. Phil Gibbs officiating. Burial was in St. Benedict Cemetery in Decorah. Visitation begian at 9 a.m. Friday, one and a half hours before the service, at the church. Arlene is survived by her children, Daniel Houlihan (Catherine), Elysian, MN, Lori Houlihan Higgins (Howard), Fairport NY, David Houlihan (Donna), La Crosse WI, and Rob Houlihan (Michelle), North Mankato, MN; her 12 grandchildren, Sean, Bobby (Steph), and Meghan Houlihan, Caitlin and Laci Higgins, Connor, Kerry, Aiden, Brody and Brock Houlihan, and Morgan and Brennen Houlihan; and her brothers Jerome (Marcia) Church and Corneille Church. She is preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Robert Edward Houlihan on November 17, 2016; her parents Royce and Thelma Church; and her sister Rose Harris. Arlene was born on February 27, 1932 in Galesville Wisconsin to Royce and Thelma Church.  She attended Viterbo University, in La Crosse, WI, graduating with a degree in Nursing.  She would later attend Marquette University, Upper Iowa University, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the University of Minnesota to further her post-graduate studies in Nursing. Arlene was a hard-working individual who embraced the spirit of volunteerism.  After her training in cancer detection, Arlene opened the "Minowa Health and Cancer Detection Center."  Arlene volunteered her nursing services and with the help of donations from the community, and the support of the local medical professionals, ran the center for many years.  Arlene was active on the medical board of the Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital. She was an energetic speaker, educator, and fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society and other area organizations. Arlene was an active and dedicated member of St. Benedict's Catholic Parish. She helped develop and implement the "Gifts for Tomorrow" program. She will be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, wife and community advocate who continuously tried to improve the lives of her family, friends and the Norwegian cultural community she loved. A memorial service will be announced at a future date. All are welcomed to attend and celebrate Arlene's life. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the American Cancer Society.  Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah served the family. Online condolences may be made at


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