Aloa Williams, age 78, of Russell, Minnesota, died peacefully on Monday, May 30, 2022, at her home with family at her side. Funeral Services are 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 6, 2022, at Grace First Parish in Russell, Minnesota. Interment will follow in the Russell Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 5, 2022, at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall. The evening will conclude with a Memory Share at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will then continue one hour prior to the service, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., on Monday at the church in Russell.
Aloa Joan Reese was born on June 5, 1943, at her home in Russell, Minnesota. She was the daughter of John “Jack” Detlef Reese and Ethel Alice (Thompson) Reese. Aloa was baptized as an infant on July 25, 1943, and confirmed in her youth on November 24, 1957, at First English Lutheran Church of Russell (now Grace First Parish). Aloa was the 8th of 13 children in her family and she learned how to cook, clean, sew and take care of her siblings at a young age. She attended school in Russell and in 1960 Aloa was crowned Homecoming Queen next to King, Marlo Williams, who happened to be a brother of Arden Williams. Aloa and Ardie were married on December 14, 1963. The couple spent their first few years of marriage moving from one place to the next, going where Ardie’s road construction jobs took them. 1965 was a busy year for the newlyweds as daughter, Audie was born in January and daughter, Amy was then born in December. Like a couple of gypsies, they moved 21 times in the first 7 years of their marriage. In 1970, they left that life behind and moved their trailer house to the Williams family farm where they milked cows and farmed with his brothers. In 1973 they sold the dairy cattle and bought their farm a couple miles east of the Family Farm. The fall of that same year their third daughter, Angela was born. Aloa was a dedicated farm wife and homemaker and she also worked for LP Hansen Insurance Agency which later was taken over by Rodney Johnson and worked for Rodney for several years at his hardware store. When farming got tough in the 1980s, Ardie went back on road construction while Aloa stayed home to feed the livestock and keep things going at home. In 1998 they sold their building site and built their house in town, Ardie was still working in the Twin Cities, for Frattalone at that time, so during the off-season and later in retirement they would head south for the winter with their camper to Parker, Arizona. They enjoyed traveling together. Aloa was Ardie’s navigator and more often than not the route included a few detours and Aloa would say “Ardie turn around, I saw a rummage sale”. Aloa loved sewing and made many outfits for her girls. She loved antiquing and did a lot of trash-to-treasure projects. Aloa took pride in making something useful out of something that had been discarded. Auctions and Rummage Sales were some of her favorite pastimes. There wasn’t a niece, nephew, grandchild, or neighborhood kid that didn’t walk away with a bag or two of clothes picked up at a rummage sale or clearance rack with them in mind. Aloa served for her church by making items for the church bazaar and bake sale or assisting at the fall supper. She enjoyed having coffee with her life-long friends and spending time with her grandkids, especially if it meant fishing or attending their sporting events. Aloa was diagnosed with dementia 8 years ago and Ardie became her primary caregiver. This allowed her to continue to stay at home. You would often hear Ardie say, “She took care of me all those years, now it is my turn.” She continued to smile at his jokes and anyone watching them together could see the love they had for each other and understand how they could celebrate 58 years of marriage. After entering Hospice care, Aloa died in her home on May 30, 2020, just 6 days before her 79th birthday.
Aloa is survived by her husband Ardie Williams of Russell; daughters, Audie (Mike) Sanderson of Russell, Amy Williams of Russell, Angela (Craig) Jorgensen of Arco; grandchildren, Andrew (Megan) Renner, Colton (Allie) Sanderson, Tye Sanderson, Ashlee Meehan, Coy & Jacey Jorgensen; great grandchildren, Elijah, Emmet, Nora Sanderson & Georgia Renner; siblings, Roxy (Bob) Boerboom of Wabasso, Gary (Marilyn) Reese of Jackson, Sharyl (Eldon) of Fulda, Arlen (Shirley) Reese or Richland, WA, Rosemary Hartson of Marshall and Grace McChesney of Russell; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Ethel Reese; siblings, Twila Mershon, Betty Melang, Robert Reese, Randy Reese, Alvin Reese, Inez Anderson; and a few of her nieces and nephews.