Arlene Mae (nee Gaede) (Sell) Piel passed away peacefully in her sleep, at The Neighbors of Dunn County on Sunday morning, May 6, 2018.
Arlene was born to Henry & Sophia (Pape) Gaede in rural Pine Hill/Black River Falls, WI on November 15, 1930. Her family moved to rural Augusta in her early years and she attended Fairchild High School until her Sophomore year. She then traveled to Texas for a period of time to work as a nanny, and returned to the rural Augusta area to the farmstead that her brother Donald still lives on. She married Eldon E. Sell of Augusta, WI, July 15, 1950, at Grace Lutheran Church, Augusta, and they lived on a farm south of Augusta on County Road M.Arlene raised her family of eight children, maintained a large house, and ran a 120 acre dairy farm, while Eldon worked off the farm and tended to his parents. She was an excellent cook, baker, gardener, and her house was always clean, despite all of her other jobs and the children. She was always rearranging the furniture in the house and in the evenings, she would sit down and embroider pillow cases, dresser scarves, and do quilts. She was a talented seamstress and sewed clothing for her children. She always had had her clotheslines full of clothes and for years, the lines were filled with cloth diapers, hung in order of length! She was a strong, responsible, and incredibly hard working woman who did what she had to do in order to raise her children.
In the early spring of 1972, she began another career at the Gateway Bar & Grill, as a cook, to make extra money for her 2 oldest daughters’ weddings that year. Her bosses were Vern & Candy Piel, and she met many people & made new friends over the course of time she worked there.Arlene and Eldon divorced in 1974. One of the most tragic results of the divorce was that she lost custody of her 5 younger children to Eldon. This absolutely devastated her and she grieved this loss until the day she died. She married Kenny (Kenneth) Piel on June 28, 1977. After they married, she moved to Milwaukee area where Kenny worked for AO Smith.They lived in Richfield, Slinger, Jackson, West Bend. Arlene worked at many restaurants including Pioneer, The Hill, Schneider’s, & Pied Piper Pancake House. She started out cooking and later became a waitress. She loved Kenny with her whole heart and he was welcomed into her family, especially by her daughters Karla & Luanne, and their families.
Kenny parked his Airstream camper at Dennis & Luanne’s home and they all went fishing together often, and enjoyed his many visits.Kenny passed away from pancreatic cancer on October 23, 1987. Arlene lived with her daughter Karla in West Bend for several years. She then moved to Hartford for a few years,and later moved to Mosinee WI to begin a new life with her significant other, Ray Stevenson. She began working at the Stage Stop Restaurant and found many new friends, especially Sherry Bees & Barb Shidell. After Ray passed away from esophageal cancer in November, 2005, she moved to Menomonie WI in January, 2006 to be closer to her family. She settled into a nice home where she had room to grow flowers, vegetables, decorate her yard w/lawn ornaments, and make a new life for herself. She worked at the Kwik Trip off Exit 28 on the night shift and ran the shift with a firm hand and “sassy and brassy” personality. All customers behaved themselves when she worked! She made lots of new friends at the Kwik Trip including Brian, Sylvia, Janet, Nancy, Mary, Victoria, and 2 very special State Troopers, Heidi and Larry, who she treated like family.In 2012, Kwik Trip shut down the night shift and Arlene tried to work the day and afternoon shifts, but her body was getting tired, and at the age of 79, she finally retired. She slowed down a little at her home, but maintained her independence.
On July 4, 2013, she sustained a stroke that affected her left side. She was not able to recover from this, and moved to the Neighbors of Dunn County. This was not the way any of us envisioned her final years. Her daughter Luanne decorated her room with knickknacks, curtains, photos, and special touches to make this more of her ‘home’. The stroke took away many things from her, but not her spunky & opinionated personality that put many a person in their place. She came to adore many of the staff there and everyone loved her. Dr. Steven Brown & Molly & later, Tammy, enjoyed their monthly visits to her room where Dr. Brown would always tell her that she did not belong there and that she was the healthiest person he knew. She loved hearing that.She loved to read romance novels, the newspapers, watch a variety of TV shows, including the RFD channel, the Golden Girls, cooking shows, old westerns, Andy Griffith, the Price is Right, to name a few. She loved to embroider and her handiwork over the years was absolutely beautiful, but it became too difficult to do in her later years. She baked goodies for her family, friends, neighbors, and service people. (paper delivery people, trash collectors, beauticians, etc.). She continued baking with Sally Rocque and shared her goodies with the staff. She loved to give and bought wonderful gifts for her family whenever she could. Arlene loved nature and the outdoors. She fed her birds, and watched over her garden outside her window at the nursing home. She enjoyed going out on car rides and family get-togethers.
Arlene is survived by her 3 daughters, Shirlene Sell of Taylor, Luanne (Dennis) Flick of Menomonie, Karla Sell of Eau Claire, and her 3 remaining sons, Jennings (Teri Malone) of Winchester, CA, Andrew/Andy Sell of Augusta, Stanley/Stan (Bonnie Haas) of Augusta. Grandchildren, Cynthia/Cyndi (Randy) Drager, Michael Sell, Jason Flick, Brad Flick(Amber Hayden), Davey Marcy, Christopher (Billie) Sell, Brandon Sell, Allison Sell, Alexander Sell, Jeremy Sell (Katie), Hollie Sell (finance’ Pete Edlefson), and great grandchildren, Sydney &Jack Siewert, Bryce Stalboerger , Damien, Ryler, and Brenek Sell. She is also survived by her daughter in law, Susan (Terrance/Grumpy) Sell, former daughter in laws, Alice Andersen & Kitti Rios-Whitwam, brother, Donald (Sarah) Gaede, sister in law, Eleanor Gaede. She is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces and an abundance of good and faithful friends.
She was preceded in death by her sons Terrance (Grumpy) and Jerome (JD) , husband, Kenneth O Piel, significant other, Raymond Stevenson, brothers & sisters in law, Norman &Alpha Jean Gaede, Ralph & Vannie Gaede, Everett Gaede, sister & brother in law, Doris &Milan Sell, brother in law, Maurice Sell, ex-husband, Eldon Sell, her parents Herman and Sophia Gaede, several aunts and uncles, and her best friend for over 50 years, Gayle Kunz.
We would like to extend a special thank you to everyone at the Neighbors of Dunn County who cared for Mom with tenderness and compassion over the past 5 years. Also, a special thank you to the “Church Ladies from Holy Cross” who brightened my Mom’s days with their visits. She loved having company!
Visitation will be from 4-8pm Friday, May 11th at Anderson’s Funeral Home in Augusta, WI.
Funeral services will be at 12 noon, Saturday, May 12th at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Glenwood City, WI, with Pastor Jonathan Zielske presiding.
Visitation will be from 11-12 at the church. A private burial will be held later at West Lawn Cemetery, Augusta WI.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com