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Arlis "Porky" June Waidelich Thompson, passed away in the afternoon of December 31, 2023. Porky was born on August 10th, 1938 in Udolpho Township in Mower County, Minnesota. Her parents were Walter "Toby" Frazee Waidelich and Garnet Helen Welch. She was the youngest of six children, including two sets of twins: John Edgar, Stanley Arthur, Donald Ray and Ronald Roy, Audrey Jean and Arlis June.
Porky’s family moved from Mower County to Grandy, MN, and later to Newport, Minnesota. She was 14 years old when she met her future husband, Calvin John Thompson. They got engaged before he joined the Army. Cal was deployed to Korea in December 1954 and returned in December of 1956. They were married on March 2, 1957 in Newport, MN.
In 1958 they welcomed son John Edgar into the family. Daughter Rene Marie followed in 1960. In 1962 Cal & Arlis made their home at the corner of Lincoln and Pullman Avenues in St. Paul Park. In 1963 Cal and Porky excitedly awaited the arrival of twins, but tragedy struck when the girls were born prematurely. Rita Mae and Rosalie Kae passed away within hours of their births.
The couple kept busy with lots of friends and family get-togethers. Weekend trips to Staples at the Eblen dairy farm. They were very involved with their son's Cub Scout Troop and his hockey games. Arlis also drove school buses, had an in-home childcare business for a few years, and worked a variety of general labor positions. Porky enjoyed family road trips around the country, camping and fishing. She was an avid BINGO player, and went with her friend Delores Schmidt whenever she could.
If Porky wasn't playing BINGO, she was going to garage sales, playing Canasta & board games, assembling puzzles, crocheting, sewing or embroidery. She taught her kids, and later her grandkids, to work with their hands, insisting that they all needed to know how to cook, sew, crochet, embroider, as well as upholster furniture and do wood-working.
Porky hated school and dropped out as soon as she was old enough. Yet she loved learning. She took Spanish courses at Cambridge Community College, and was always reading her favorite cookbooks, Readers' Digest, and Reminisce Magazine. She loved birds visiting her feeders & pretended to hate Blue Jays when in fact she was highly amused by their antics. She loved silly limericks and watching #34 run the bases while chanting "Run Bubble Butt! You show ‘em! Give ‘em Hell, Kirby!".
In 2001 Porky & Cal moved to Sebeka, MN to be near their son John and his family. Porky experienced some isolation by moving so far from her friends and extended family, but was very happy to be near her youngest grandson. She made new friends & spent time socializing with ladies in town who would stop in for coffee and a game of Rummy Cube or Trionimos.
Rene and her children were frequent visitors, spending a lot of time with the grandparents. Porky also looked forward to visits and tea parties with her great-grandchildren, wearing straw hats and all. All of the kids' friends felt welcomed by Cal & Porky, called them Grandma & Grandpa and became family. They opened their home and hearts to strangers and volunteered numerous hours with PPP, Fare Share and Ruby’s Pantry.
Arlis leaves behind her son John (Mary Eiler); Daughter René; grandchildren: Jennifer, Raul and Victor Lopez, Trevor Thompson and Amber Denn; great-grandchildren Lillian, Mikayla, Rohnen and Piper Lopez. She is also survived by countless in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband Cal, her parents, and siblings, her twin daughters Rita and Rosalie; many in-laws, nieces and nephews. She is also preceded in death by her best friend Delores Schmidt and her honorary daughter Laurie Schmidt.