Henrietta Anna (Alma) Arens (born Remackel)

Born:May 25 1913 In:  Larkin, Nobles, Minnesota, USA
Died:May 23 2006 (at age 92)In:  Arden Hills, Ramsey, Minnesota, USA

Immediate family

Francis Edward Arens
Her husband
Gerald Francis Virgil (Jare) Arens
Her son
<Private> Arens
Her child
<Private> Hendrickson (born Arens)
Her child
<Private> Gerber (born Arens)
Her child
<Private> Arens
Her child
<Private> Arens
Her child
<Private> Jewett (born Arens)
Her child
Frank (Smith) Remackel
Her father
Catherine Mary Veron (born Weber)
Her mother
Jacob Remackel
Her father
Anna C Remackel (born Halfman)
Her mother
Violet Margareta Gibson (born Remackel)
Half sister
Adeline L. Horvat (born Veron)
Half sister
Dolores Alvina Caron (born Veron)
Half sister


Bookeeper, Homemaker, Bookeeper.

Contact information

1913 On East Half Sec. 25 Larkin Twp. Nobles Co. MN. 1914-1933 In Nw Wilmont. 1933-1935 Sec. ? ? Twp. Nobles Co. 1935-19


Abandoned by her father, Frank Remackel on Sunday, October 5, 1913.

From the November-December 1913 Nobles County Review:

"Mrs. Frank Remackel and baby visited with the

Anton Weber family near Lismore from Saturday to


and... "The two Petersen boys who had rented for next year the Jake

Remackel farm, section 25 in Larkin, asked him to release them

of their contract. Agreeable landlords will always find

responsive tenants."

Her names include: Heniata Anna Remackel on her birth record. Henrietta Alma Remackel on her dirvers license. Henrietta Annie Remackel on her adoption papers.

Obituary (long version):

Arens, Henrietta (Remackel) 1913-2006 age 92 of St. Paul

Henrietta died of old age in the loving care of Presbyterian Homes and Fairview Hospice on May 23, 2006 - two days before her 93rd birthday.

She was preceded in death by husband, Francis 1909-1991; son, Gerald 1939-2004; parents, Frank Remackel 1892-1959 and Catherine (Weber) 1894-1945; four half-sisters, Frances "Dolly" (Remackel) Brown 1917-2004 of Canada, Violet (Remackel) Gibson 1919-1995 of Canada, Adeline (Veron) Horvat 1927-1992 of Mankato, Minnesota and Deloris (Veron) Caron 1933-1969 of St. Paul, Minnesota.

She is survived by children David (Barbara) of Lakeville, Beverly (Alan) Gerber of Richfield, Robert (LaVae) of St. Paul, Marvin (Colette) of Saudi Arabia, Dianna (Scott) of West Virginia, Rochelle (Ken) of Roseville and daughter-in-law, Peggy McHenry-Arens of East Longmeadow, MA; 14 grandchildren: David Gerber, Rhett Arens, Patrick Arens, Kelli Arens, Brynn Arens, Todd Arens, Dawn Gerber, Aarah Arens, Megan Arens, Darcie Gerber, Kii Arens, Nadine Arens, Patrick Ogelsby, and Pascal Arens; 21 great grandchildren: Colin Arens, Mitchell Arens, Justin Arens, Mason Arens, Sammantha Oglesby, Ian Aizman, Kayla Hennes, Kelcie Ammann, Nikita Claflin, Tyler Hennes, Shaena Aizman, Francine Arens, Francis Arens, Sydney Arens, Chase Arens, Alexsys Oglesby, Chana Aizman, Elliot Arens, Tanner Arens, Lydia Arens, Daisy LaVae Arens, and Felix LaRue Arens; first cousins: Gartner, Glovka, LeBrun, and Weber; half-nieces and half-nephews in Canada and the US.

Henrietta is the only child of Frank Remackel and Catherine Weber. Born May 25, 1913 on a farm 4.5 south of Wilmont, Minnesota. At the age of 6 months her father abandoned her and her mother. Jacob and Anna (Halfman) Remackel of Wilmont adopted her.... the same couple who had raised her father from infancy. At the age of 13 she left school to work in Jacob's bank. It was there in his safe she found her adoption papers and learned who her birth parents were. unknown to anyone in the US, her father had remarried in Canada to Tensy Nystrom in 1917 and had two more daughters, Frances (Dolly) and Violet Remackel. Before 1930 he abandoned his second family and remarried for a third time to Elsie ?. On June 7, 1916 Henrietta's mother remarried to Walter Veron and had two more daughters, Adeline and Deloris Veron. Henrietta married Francis Arens February 21, 1933 in Wilmont, Minnesota. Through a twist of fate, Henrietta was able to meet her birth father for the first time in November of 1938 or 1939.

Henrietta and Francis raised six of their seven children on the same Larkin Township farm where Henrietta had been born and her father had been raised. In March of 1956 Henrietta and Francis sold the farm and moved to Mankato, Minnesota where their seventh child, Rochelle was born in July 1956. Henrietta got her GED and graduated from Mankato high school with her daughter, Dianna in 1964. In 1964 they moved to St. Paul where Francis became a licensed masseur and Henrietta worked for the MN DOT. She retired in 1978 and survived breast cancer in 1988. After Francis died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm in 1991, Henrietta sold her house and moved into a high rise. She lived there until her heart attack in 2002 when she went into the Presbyterian Nursing Home in Arden Hills, Minnesota. She was anxious that her cat, Ebony, not go with her nor go to live with anyone else because it was very scared of strangers. She asked that Ebony be cremated and be buried with her "when the time came". Henrietta had rescued Ebony from the infamous Halloween snowstorm of 1991. She was buried under the snow on her front steps. Henrietta put food and water in porch and left the door open for the cat to come in. From then on Henrietta and Ebony were bonded. On February 12, 2004 His Majesty Boreas Rex LXVIII John Bennett officially appointed Henrietta as the St. Paul Winter Carnival Princess of Saving Cats.

Henrietta's pride and joy was her children. She often spoke of them to whoever would listen. She first felt guilty in the nursing home because she was being treated like she was on vacation. She especially enjoyed her weekly bubble baths. She slowly adjusted and lost her feeling of guilt for the pampering she received.

Her family is especially grateful to the wonderful staff at Presbyterian Home for their years of gracious care and to the Fairview Hospice people who helped her during her final weeks.

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When Henrietta was little, Jacob and Annie had two cats; a bluish grey named Schnipy (which means 'frisky') and calico named Mische (which means 'mixture')

Henrietta learned at age 13 that she was adopted by the same "parents" that had "acquired" and raised her half-blood Indian birth father.

In 1926 when Henrietta was 13 years old, she found adoption papers that said she had been adopted at age 3 by Jacob and Annie Remackel. After this, she began bed wetting. Apparently, from then on she was filled with ideas that her birth father was a bad man. After all, he had abandoned her and her mother. In 1939 Henrietta learned where her birth father was. The St. Paul paper carried an article about a little dog that saved people from an apartment house fire by running up and down the hall barking. The dog belonged to a man named Frank Remackel. Even though Henrietta thought that her father might kill her, her husband, Francis, convinced her to meet him. Francis knocked at his door. When he answered, Francis asked if he was Frank Remackel and if he had a daughter named Henrietta. He said, yes. Francis said she was in the car and wanted to meet him. Frank had remarried to Elsie ?. She had been a trick rider in a circus. When Henrietta met her birth father, Frank, he told her about some things that happened between 1892 and 1913 while he was being reared by Jacob (Jake) and Annie...

One day in about 1900 a man came to their farmhouse. Jake and Annie became very upset. Jake went outside with the man. A gunshot was fired. Jake came back in the house and said that that man wouldn't bother them anymore. The next day Annie planted a cottonwood tree on a small spot of freshly turned dirt about fifty feet north of the barn.

Annie frequently had sores on the backs of her hands. She told people that the sores were from chickens that would peck her while she was trying to get their eggs from under them while they were still in their nest. According to Frank, the sores were caused by Jake. When he got mad at her, he would hold her hand on the table and stab it with a table for

Frank and Catherine had a "shotgun" wedding in November 1912. On March 1, 1913 they began renting the farm from Jake. On May 25, 1913, Henrietta was born. Frank wanted to buy a car. Jake would not borrow them the money, he didn't believe in cars and such (he never owned one). In the fall of 1913, Frank sold some grain and bought a car. He drove it to Jake's to show it to him. Jake got his shotgun and shot at Frank in his car. Frank drove away with pellet holes in his car...not to be seen again for 26 years.

[Information gathered by Robert Philip Arens via interviews etc.FTW]

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------In 2002 I received an email from Shelly Brown of BC Canada. It turns out that after Frank abandoned his first wife in 1913 he had moved to Canada and remarried in 1917. After having two more daughters, he also abandoned that family and eventually married a third time and lived and died in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------

Obituary and eulogies:

From grandson, Kii.

Could you have Aarah read this.

Aarah, would you please read this for me at Grandma's funeral?

If not... Rhett or Brynn will do just fine.

I love you and I wish I could be there today.


As a child I remember the great feeling of coming home to find Grandma

Arens's pacer parked in front of the house.

Walking home from school I'd spot her car from across the park and

I'drun to greet Grandma with a big hug.

Oddly enough both of my grandmas drove a pacers, so now, on the rare

occasion that I see one, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

One of the many things I've always cherished about Grandma Arens is

that I could tell her I loved her and she'd do the same.

The last time I saw grandma, a few months ago, I'm happy to say that

she said she loved me with the same tender clarity.

Everytime we'd visit Grandma & Grandpa Arens over on Hague Avenue it

was like a mini vacation.

I couldn't wait to get there and I never wanted to leave.

With WCCO on the radio I remember every house and building along the


Especially that crazy purple one off of 94. Remember that one?

Grandma lived only a block from Dairy Queen. Score!

I used to love picking carrots out of her beautiful garden even though

I can't stand eating them.

Her garden was immaculate.

I always felt sorry for her cats because us kids would scare them under

the bed everytime.

Her porch was like a playground.

I remember countless hours of fun making a mess out of the place with

Patrick and Darcy.

I would often brag to my friends about the fine musical skills Grandpa

Arens had on his harmonica.

Leaving their house was always really tough. I'd usually throw a fit.

Not big enough to rival Patricks... but hey, the kid was very


Driving home was always a bummer.... more CCO.

As the years went by and I got to know Grandma a bit better I found her

to be a very wise.

I always found her positive attitude refreshing and welcome.

I could ask her anything and she'd always give you a straight answer

with a nice twist of humor.

The holidays at my parents were always a treat with Grandma dropping by

to visit.

She was brought into this world and had to over come many hardships,

which she did with grace.

All of her children are living proof at how wonderful of a person she

truly was.

Our family is filled with a wide variety of personalities that was born

from the freedom Grandma instilled.

That kind of confidence had to start somewhere. and it's my opinion

that Grandma Arens had alot to do with it.

I'm sorry I cannot be with you on this day.

I want everyone to know that I love you all and that I love Grandma

Arens very much.

I will miss her and I'm sure she's somewhere in the sky holding

Grandpas hand smiling down on us right now.

God Bless Grandma Arens

From granddaughter, Aarah Lee:

Hi Dad,

I just noticed you were asking for e-mails from people who were unable to come....I guess I do have thoughts, lots of them, some I think I'll keep in the pretty drawers of my mind.......although, I do have something I want to share...

Something that stays with me is a story you may not even know about.

I loved Grandma's garden. I liked how it was square and tidy - it looked cozy tucked in the back by the garage. I thought it was amazing and near miraculous that one could pull a carrot from the ground and actually eat it the same day...and how the rest would wait in neat rows until they were picked.

During the time Grandma was packing up the house and getting rid of "stuff" Ian and I stopped by for a visit - I wanted to ask Grandma if I could have her garden hoe. We sat visiting for quite some time, I ate a banana, as I usually did whenever we visited. Sitting there, I decided to keep it just a visit - I didn't want to ask for anything, it didn't feel right.

Then she looked at me and leaned forward...."Aarah," her words reaching, "I bet you would like my garden hoe."

My heart blossomed wide open reaching back - Grandma knew me. this is what the hoe is really about.

I followed her to the garden behind the house, and she showed me how to use the hoe, and how it was best to till up the ground while the weeds were still young and easy to handle. She showed me how to rinse it, and wipe it dry when done. Tools need to be kept strong, you know. And she handed it to me to bring home.

We went back in the house - Ian was busy in the living room keeping Ebony busy...

Grandma turned to me, "and another thing, Aarah", she said in a matter-of-fact tone, "while I was cleaning, I noticed on the bottom of this vase that it was Made in Israel - and so, it belongs to you." And she gave it to me with of her both hands.

I continue to learn that so much is understood without explaining and that so much of what cannot be said can be heard.

I love you, Dad. I know I'm a bit broken hearted right now. (it'd be a good time to write a country western song!)....but since Grandma died, I feel more like your little girl - more little, and more daughter. more.

Liba, a friend of mine, invited me to use her pool this afternoon - well, it was more than an invitation, it was a directive. "Don't let anything in your day get in the way, you need to go swim by yourself. It will be good for you." She meant it.

I did. I don't think I ever swam without a crowd - it was quiet, I swam back and forth on my back - all I could hear was my breath, loud, filling my ears under the water. Looking up, effortlesssly at the blue sky with its cottony clouds, I wondered - why am I swimming? What will come of this? Where is Grandma? Show me.

I especially liked swimming southward on my back keeping my eye on the beautiful giant tree that joined the sky just right. I thought about Liba - how she carefully apologized about the mess the trees made in the water....but I enjoyed the seeds floating around me...effected by the ripples of my strokes. They belonged. I let my thoughts float too.

Turning over, I did the front crawl northward, swimming toward the curiously beautiful tree. My eyes level with the ground - I noticed the deck was covered with the softness of cottonwood fuzz. Then I began to recall how Grandpa made it known how much he disliked the mess of cottonwoods. I thought about it. Yet, I marveled at the softness around me - the kindness of my friend, and the fuzzy seeds everywhere. Thinking, moving through water and wondering with slow thoughts, everything is where is belongs. I could understand how a cottonwood would be a nuisance - but, to me, this afternoon, it was just me and the cottonwood. There were a lot of other trees hovering, but that one made me feel the best.

One more lap, breathing, seeds swooshing - that was all the time I needed for now. I return home refreshed, relaxed and thankful for being given such a gift from my friend.

While writing this, I return to feeling the rhythm of the water, the clarity of the sky and the cottonwood next to me. Slowly a seedling of thought begins to surface and swirl in my mind. Grandma. Maybe, she feels more like a little girl again. Maybe she is closer to her Dad now. And, now I wonder about the big beautiful tree and how her father feels about cottonwoods.

I think I see - everything is where it is suppose to be.

Hmm. I didn't realize I had so much to write when I started writing.

We will see you tomorrow. We'll be coming at noon -

I Love you,

Aarah Lee

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