Arlene “Bun” Mae (Strangstalien) Townsend, 85 of Coon Valley, died peacefully Wednesday morning, March 29 with her sister Gloria by her bedside. Arlene was born in Westby, Wisconsin on April 22, 1937 to Arthur and Mabel (Lindvig) Strangstalien. She graduated from Westby High School in 1955, but not before being named one of the “Bevy of Beauties” for the 1955 Snowflake Ski Club.
She married William Joseph Herman Jr. on April 14, 1956. She had five children; Mark Anthony, Michael Dean, Lori Ann (spouse Mike), Mathew Alan, and Paul William (spouse Shari). Arlene and Bill divorced in 1970, and she moved her five children (with the help of her siblings) from Michigan back to her home in Coon Valley. She and her children lived for two years (with no bathroom) at the Norskedalen “Bekkum” log cabin. After two years without a working bathroom, Arlene took a job working for the La Crosse Social Services Dept. and moved her family to La Crosse. She eventually met and married John B. Townsend on July 19, 1975. She moved to Portage, and lived there with John until 2006, when they moved back to Coon Valley.
Arlene was not only a beautiful lady, but had so many talents which kept her hands busy and her friends and relatives in utter amazement. She was an award winning Rosemaler, florist, expert seamstress, stained-glass maker, and exceptional quilter! She acquired the nick name Bun from her siblings, because she was “cute as a bunny rabbit”, or as another story goes, she was a “little honey bun!”
She is survived by her five children and two step-daughters, Wendy (Townsend) Pink, Patti (Townsend) Bryan; her brothers, Roger (Donna), Dennis (Suzanne), and Larry (Rachel) Strangstalien; her sister, Gloria Storey and sister-in-law, Marie Strangstalien; ten grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Mabel; her brothers, Gordon, Verlyn (Luetta), Bobby, brother-in-law, Floyd Storey; her sisters Beverly (Donny) Jensen, Lucille (La Verne) Ostrem, and Dorothy (Glenn) Sievertson.
Arlene “Bun” was beloved by all who knew her. Her humbleness regarding her exquisite talents only succeeded in making her more beautiful to those who knew her.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday April 5, 2023 at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. Rev. Julie Wollman will officiate with burial in the Vang Lutheran Cemetery, rural Westby. A visitation will be held at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until service time. The Seland Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com. Memorials may be given to the Coon Valley Lutheran Church.
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