Arne Kvaalen, 97, West Lafayellt, IN

Arne Kvaalen, 97, West Lafayette, IN, passed away peacefully in his home on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. He is now beholding the face of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Born to Osten and Esther Kvaalen Jan. 22, 1923 in Bismarck, ND, he was raised on a homesteader's wheat farm near Lambert, MT. Arne attended Concordia College, Morehead, MN, in 1940, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor and went through officers' training followed by UDT training in Ft. Pierce, FL.

He served in the Pacific in UDT 15 as a Frogman, taking part in the invasions of the Philippines and Iwo Jima. He led the first wave of marines on to Blue Beach, for which he received the Silver Star.

After the war, he went to art school in Minneapolis, then to Luther Seminary, graduating in the spring of 1953. He married Ruth Connolly, and served two small parishes near Mobridge, SD, and then as a campus pastor at what is now North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.

In 1959 Arne's love for drawing and painting lured him back into art, and he and his family moved to the University of Iowa at Iowa City, IA, where he obtained a master of fine arts degree. He was employed by Purdue University in 1965, teaching painting, drawing, and some art history until retirement in 1993. Throughout his teaching years and up to the present, Arne kept an art studio in downtown Lafayette, going there nearly daily and continuing his creative work into the last year of his life.

Arne is survived by his wife, Ruth, twin daughters Virginia (Glenn) Richardson of Waukesha, WI and Kristin Kvaalen of West Lafayette, and son Eric (Claire) of Les Essarts-le-Roi, France, as well as nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Private family services will be held at Upper Room Christian Fellowship with Reverend Andy Byrn officiating. Interment to follow at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens. Current Covid-19 precautions will be observed along with social distancing and current government attendance guidelines. Masks are required. Share memories and condolences online at

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