Donald E. Arola, 91, formerly of Nashwauk, Minn., died Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, at County Manor in Sartell, Minn.
He was born in Nashwauk on April 18, 1929, to Edward and Fannie Arola. He graduated from Nashwauk High School. He attended two years at Itasca Community College before entering the US Army serving two years from 1951-1953 during the Korean War. He was united in marriage to Alyce Williams on Aug. 28, 1954, at Nashwauk United Methodist Church. They moved to Duluth where he completed his teaching degree at the University of Minn. – Duluth in 1957. His first teaching job was at Cass Lake, Minn., from 1958-1960 teaching social studies, head football and head track coach. In 1960 he began his career at Nashwauk and Keewatin schools where through the years he taught social studies, driver’s education, 9th grade basketball coach, track coach and school counselor. He graduated from Bemidji State University in 1970 with a master’s degree in counseling and guidance. He continued as school counselor and became athletic director in 1974 until his retirement in 1990.
During his dedicated career in education, he was very involved in coaching and athletic director associations with recognition and offices at local, conference and state levels. He also was actively involved in his community with Boy’s State for American Legion Post #307; Nashwauk United Methodist Church board and committees; Nashwauk 4th of July committees and running events; secretary of Nashwauk Gun Club and Nashwauk Masonic Lodge #331. He also became a member of Range Riders ATV Club in his 80’s.
Don said that he entered the education and athletic field because, “whether it be in the classroom or field of athletics, we all need someone to help you understand yourself, so as to make better decisions about your life. I hope that I have helped students to realize their full potential as each being a unique human being.”
He is survived by three children, Donald M. “Donnie” (Toni) Arola of Payette, Idaho, David (Terryl) Arola of Brooklyn Park, Minn. and Dana (Jim) Steve of St. Joseph, Minn.; seven grandchildren, Jazmin (Tyler) Haedrich, Christopher (Ashley) Parrez, Jessica (Jonny) Livingston, Rob (Annie) Arola, Andrew Donald (Jamie) Arola, Derek Donald Steve and Alyssa Steve; six great grandchildren, Silas Donald, Sylvie, Malee, Lyla, Brooklyn, and Parker; siblings, Deanna Saylor and Duane Arola; sister-in-law, Pattie Arola; and many nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Alyce; and siblings, Dorothy Knott and Dale Arola.
A memorial service will be held at the Dougherty Funeral of Hibbing on Wednesday, March 3 at 11:00 a.m.
Visitation will start an hour and a half prior to the service at 9:30 a.m. Pastor Terry Tilton will officiate services.
Interment will take place at the Nashwauk Cemetery.
Memorials can go to the Nashwauk Area Community Fund with a request that the funds be designated for the high school scholarship program. https://www.nashwaukfund.org/get-involved
To leave an online message of condolence for Don, please visit us at; www.doughertyofhibbing.com.