Dave Arens 1933-2024

Hall of Fame coach Dave Arens passed away on January 19, 2024. He was 90 years old. Arens coached wrestling at Jordan High School from l961 to l968 and Bloomington Kennedy High School from l975 to l984.

While at Bloomington Kennedy, Arens’ teams placed third in state five times and won state titles in l980 and l984. He coached ten individual state champions for The Eagles. In l979, Brad Tufto and Chuck Vavrosky became Kennedy’s first. In l980, Dave’s son, Todd, won a state title. Other state champions and standouts include John Morgan, Dave Wiklund, Chris Lembeck, Danny Collins, Blake Bonjean, Dave Meir, and Marty Morgan, to name a few. Marty Morgan went on to win a DI National Championship and coached with J Robbinson at The University of Minnesota. Lembeck and Gordy Morgan were DI college All-Americans. Brothers Gordy and John Morgan were eventual United States Olympians in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Dave Arens Obituary

David “Dave” Paul Arens, age 90, of Lakeville, MN, passed away peacefully with family at his side on January 19, 2024. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and good friend. He will be missed dearly.

Dave was born on November 25, 1933 to Francis and Henrietta Arens in Slayton, MN as the oldest of seven children. He grew up on the family farm in Wilmont, MN. After graduating from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Wilmont, MN in 1951, he was encouraged by his brother Bob to go to college and get his degree from Mankato State.

After graduating with a degree in biology and physical education, he started his first job at Jordan High School as a science teacher, football coach, and head wrestling coach beginning a 33 year career impacting the lives of so many students and athletes.

Dave Arens 1933 2024

In 1958, Dave met Barbara Jackson who he married in 1959. Dave and Bara had 4 children, Patrick, Kelli, Todd and Megan. The entire family moved to Atlanta, GA for a year when he received the National Science Academic Foundation Scholarship to earn his MA degree from Atlanta University. They then moved back to Bloomington, MN where Dave was hired as a science and computer sciences teacher, soccer and wrestling coach. In 1975 he accepted the head wrestling coach position at Bloomington Kennedy where he was the head coach for 9 years. The Kennedy Eagles placed 3rd in state 5 times while Dave was the coach, and they were state champions in 1980 and 1984.

A die-hard worker for the sport of wrestling, Dave served as President of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association. He was honored as MN Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1984 and was inducted into the MN Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1991 and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2008.

In 1993 Dave retired from teaching, but continued to be a fishing guide at Lake of the Woods, MN for Sunset Lodge where he had been guiding during the summer months since 1988. Dave and Bara eventually purchased land on Oak Island and enjoyed spending May through October on the island watching the amazing sunsets together from their cabin. Dave continued to guide for over 20 years. One of Dave’s favorite things was to spend a day out fishing with a stop at the perfect shore lunch spot. He would make an amazing fish fry and create an experience that guests, friends, and especially his family will treasure forever.

His pride and joy was his family. He always wanted to know what his kids, grandkids, and even his great grandkids were up to, but the most important person in his life was his dear wife Bara. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on January 10th, 2024. Dave was kind, generous, and loyal. He carried himself with dignity and strength and he was an exemplary human being. He made an impact on many lives and will be forever missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Henrietta (Remeckel) Arens, his brother Gerald Arens and sister-in-law LaVae Arens.

Survived by his wife Barbara Jean Arens; children: Patrick Arens (Shannon), Kelli Arens (Matt), Todd Arens (Lindy), Megan VanOverbeke (Ken); grandchildren Mason, Justin, Kayla (Paul), Tyler, Francis (Johanna), Sydney, Chase, Elliot, Lydia, Grant, Luke & Jack; great-grandchildren Scarlett, Parker, Talen; siblings: Beverly Gerber (Allan), Robert Arens, (Peggy Mc Henry), Marvin Arens (Collette), Dianna Arens (Scott), Rochelle Jewett (Ken) and many loving nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2024 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM with a Remembrance Service at 3:00 PM. Services will be held at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation (104 First St. W.) in Jordan, MN.

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