Ed was the first born to Harm and Margaret (Braaten) Arends in Ellsworth, Minn., moving to Williams County, N.D., as an infant. He grew up 25 miles southeast of Williston, N.D., in the Spanish Point district by the Missouri River. At age 15, Edwin quit school to work and at age 18 was drafted into the Navy. He served from 1943-46 on the U.S.S. Howard W. Gilmore.
Edwin was a proud Navy man, WWII veteran and a Plank owner of the Gilmore. He attended several of the ship reunions and loved to tell anyone who would listen, about his service in the Navy. He returned to Williston and worked several jobs in the area including at Service Soft, Vizna Ready Mix and Conlin’s Furniture. He married Alma M. Bratlien Sept. 16, 1950 and together raised their family in Williston. Edwin was a member of First Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway, life member of the American Legion and VFW. He served on the Legion color guard for 42 years.
In November of 2016, Alma and Edwin relocated to Billings to be near their daughter, Sharon. He took special pleasure in being with his extended family, Jerry Atol, Judy McKenzie, Jeff Skaare, Bill Bratlien, Lana Anderson and Sanford and Nancy Langager.
Edwin was preceded in death by several siblings, his mother and father, a daughter-in-law, a nephew, grandson Jared Arends and great-grandson Jonathan Arends. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Alma, and his children Lynn (Gary) Schmitz, Wesley (Sue), Sharon (Bob) Nolte, Robert (Vickie) and Philip (Vicky), 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; sisters Marlene Teske of Williston and Alice Petersen of Minneapolis, former daughter-in-law Jolene Arends; and several nieces and nephews.
Special thanks from the family to the Sweetwater Retirement Community employees for their love and care during the last year and Edwin’s team from RiverStone Hospice -- Amber, Alicia and Tim -- for their care and compassion.