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May 16, 2022

12/2/2021 4:35:00 PM
Arla Bernard, 80, dies following lengthy illness

Arla J. Bernard , a longtime Pleasant Grove Township resident died on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 at White Pines Senior Living Center in Cottage Grove, after a long illness with Alzheimer's Disease.
Arla Jean Olson was born on June 15, 1941 in Rochester to Jean and Arlene (Rogers) Olson. She grew up on the family farm in rural Chatfield, attended and graduated from Chatfield High School in 1959. Arla was employed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester in 1960 as an EKG Technician and graduated from St. Marys Hospital-Practical School of Nursing in 1962. Her first nursing role at Mayo was as a surgical nurse in the recovery room.
Arla was married to Frank W. Bernard on Sept. 9, 1962 at the Chatfield Lutheran Church. Following their marriage, the couple lived on a farm in Pleasant Grove Township where they raised their children and have continued to make their home. Arla was a homemaker and nurse and in 1975, she accepted a position in the Adolescent Psychology Unit at St. Marys Hospital, staying for over 13 years and eventually was named the Head Nurse Manager of the Unit. During these same years, she went back to school part-time, earning her bachelors degree in nursing at Winona State. In 1988, she switched over to OB/GYN at Mayo Clinic and in 1994 she became the Pre-Natal Education Supervisor until her retirement in 2002. Frank was a lifelong farmer and also worked in commercial construction. Mr. Bernard died on July 30, 2020. Arla had a lifelong love affair with horses and spent all of her off time and retirement time working and caring for her horses. She liked to go trail riding and camping with her friends and family. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking, was an excellent seamstress and always enjoyed visiting with neighbors and time spent with family. Arla and Frank were blessed with four grandsons that she loved to spend her time with while watching them become good young men.
Arla's family would like to thank the staff at White Pines Senior Living Center and the Olive Grove Hospice team for Arla's excellent care.
Arla is survived by one daughter, Kelly (Steve) Gunderson of Cottage Grove; and her son, Brett Bernard (Kristi Lang) of Pleasant Grove Township; four grandsons, Vincent Bernard, Wyatt Bernard, Eric Gunderson, and Luke Bernard.
She was preceded in death by her husband Frank, her parents, and brother Ken Olson.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place from 10 a.m.-noon at Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville Saturday, December 11 2021,followed by burial at Orion Center Cemetery in Cummingsville.
Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. Online condolences and memories of Arla are welcome at

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