Arlys D. Hexom, 77, of Decorah, died Wednesday evening, September 26, 2012 at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah following a short battle with cancer.
The first service will be held at 2:30 pm, Sunday, September 30 at Aase Haugen Home Chapel in Decorah, with the Rev. Chad Huebner and the Rev. Nancy Solomonson officiating. The second funeral service will be held at 12:00 pm (Noon) Wednesday, October 3 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah with the Rev. Chad Huebner officiating.
Visitation will begin at 11:00 am Wednesday, one hour before services, at the church. Burial is in the Locust Cemetery in rural Decorah.
Arlys Dorothy Hexom, the daughter of Raymond and Myrtle (Bender) Barth, was born on October 4th, 1934, in her maternal grandparents’ farmhouse near Locust, Iowa. She grew up on farms near Mabel. The eldest of five siblings, she helped to look after them as they walked 1 ½ miles to school.
When her parents bought the Locust Store her life changed dramatically. The school and St. John’s Church were across the road. Arlys attended Sunday School, Confirmation classes, Luther League, was a member of the choir and worshipped there.
She rode the bus to Decorah High School, graduating in 1952. She enjoyed dancing and worked at Helwigs (radio and record store) where she met the love of her life, Charles (Chuck) Hexom. (Arlys and her sisters Jerene and Darlene were all married within 14 months!)
Arlys and Chuck were married in Big Canoe Lutheran Church by Chuck’s father, the Rev. William T. Hexom, on May 21, 1953, and started their married life in Waukesha, Wisconsin where Chuck attended Carroll College while holding down two jobs. Arlys worked as well while raising their young family. First at Amron Corporation and later for many years at Moreland Plaza Pharmacy. Chuck and Arlys moved back to Decorah in 1989 to be near their parents and relatives. Arlys found a new calling working as a CNA at Aase Haugen Home.
Arlys spent as much time as possible outdoors. She was an avid gardener and excellent baker who loved to share the fruits of her labor generously. She fed the neighborhood birds religiously and loved trout fishing, especially with her father, Ray. She cherished her family and friends, sending countless cards and letters, welcoming visitors to her home and entertaining them with her funny anecdotes.
Community service was an important part of Arlys’ life. Over the years she was an active member of both St. Mark’s Church in Waukesha (teaching Sunday and Bible school as well as serving as a member of the Ruth Circle and Altar Guild) and at First Lutheran Church in Decorah (serving as a member of the Social Concerns Committee and volunteering at the Food Pantry). After retiring from Aase, she continued to serve there, at the Mercantile shop and as Patient Advocate. In addition, she brought sunshine to her mother and other residents with her almost daily visits.
She was preceded in death by her father Raymond Barth, her husband Charles Hexom on April 24, 2012, and her sister Lois (Bob) Smith.
Arlys is survived by her mother Myrtle Barth, her sisters Jerene (Roger) Jacobson, Darlene (Roger) Bjerke and Lyle (Mary) Barth; her three children, Scott (Toni) Hexom, Angela Hexom and Andrea Hexom; as well as three grandchildren William (Melissa) Hexom, Aaron Hexom and Isabel America de la Cruz Hexom.
Memorials may be given to Aase Haugen Chaplaincy Fund or First Lutheran Food Pantry.