Arlene Elizabeth Nelson, 89, Mayville, ND died Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at Luther Memorial Home, Mayville. She was born, June 5, 1922, in Portland, ND, the daughter of Calmer and Emma Knudson. The family lived southwest of Portland and Arlene attended Roseville Township School until they moved to Mayville in her seventh grade. Her dad was a carpenter and her mother was a cook and baker. Arlene started waitressing at age 12 when she began helping her mother “Emma” at Juvet’s Coffee Shop owned by Knute Juvet and located where the Goose River Bank now stands. After High School she continued to work at local cafes, including the Corner Café, for several years at different locations. Arlene married Ira Nelson in Mayville on March 22, 1941. Arlene made a career of serving the public for 72+ years. Arlene operated a café at the Harrington Stockyards on sale day, every Thursday from 1953-1960. Her husband Ira worked for Harrington’s as a truck driver and was on the road much of the time. Arlene then worked for Joe Beck and ran Beck Service Station/Café for 17 years. Arlene and Ira managed the Polka Dot Drive Inn in Portland, ND. She took her skills to Union Hospital where she was a certified dietary supervisor for 15 years. She then decided it was time to retire and stayed off work for one month and just about went crazy. She then went back to work at the place that would be her last place of employment, Paula’s Steakhouse. She was going to retire, but when Ira died in “91”, she kept on working. Arlene continued to work as waitress at Paula’s until she had a heart attack and finally retired at age 84. Arlene learned to cook from her mother, learned a lot from her, but in a Traill County Tribune article in 1997 she stated she learned how to make gravy from her dad. He had a secret ingredient ---- coffee. Arlene would say it is the customers she recalls fondly, some families now second and third generations. She loved serving people and would say she likes the public and the people. When at Paula’s people would walk in the door, see her and just ask for the usual. Somehow she would remember and soon her customers would enjoy their “usual” meal or lunch. Arlene was active in the Ruth Circle at Mayville Lutheran Church. Arlene loved to go to casinos and play bingo at the Senior Center in Mayville and Portland. She even won a Mustang at the Mahnomen Casino. She loved dancing and watching Twins baseball games. She loved to go to Elroy Lindaas’s barn dances during the summer and dance with all of her friends. Arlene loved to cook, bake and enjoyed family get-togethers. Arlene is survived by her children, Roger (Shirley) Nelson, West Fargo, ND, Vernon (Laureen) Nelson, Loveland, CO, Kay (Gary) Olstad, Pelican Rapids, MN, Harvey (Mary) Nelson, Fargo, ND, Clayton (Brenda) Nelson, West Fargo, ND.; 20 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren. Arlene was preceded in death by her husband, Ira; her parents and 7 great-grandchildren, Cody Wood, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Joseph and Abigail Olstad. Honorary pallbearers are Arlene’s grandchildren, Laurie Good, Michelle Yankowiak, Kim Schobinger, Rick Olstad, Chad Olstad, Shane Olstad, Elizabeth Evans, Christine Knipe, Cathleen Adams, Vernon “JR” Nelson, Mindy Hughes, MeLisa Jackson, Heather Eggers, Ira Roberson, Cory Roberson, Perrin Job, Pat Job, Crystal Adam, Travis Nelson, and Luke Nelson. Memorial services will be at 2:00 pm, Friday, November 25, 2011 at Mayville Lutheran Church in Mayville, Pastor Jeff Macejkovic, officiating, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.