Arnie A. Chan, 87
Arnie Albin Chan was born on July 11, 1924, on the south side of Lake Reno in Reno Township, Pope County. He attended grades 1-8 in District 72, a rural school, located about three miles from the family farm. Arnie began farming at an early age and assumed complete responsibility for the farming operation when he was 16 years old. He often talked about plowing with horses, then purchasing his first Allis Chalmers tractor and eventually buying a new Farmall H tractor in 1948. Besides farming, he also ran a dairy operation with 22 cows, first milking by hand and then in 1944 upgrading to milking machines.
Before WWII, Arnie and his father, John Chan, became involved with old-time polka dances held every Sunday night from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. in Chan's Barn. Many local bands, as well as those from across the state of Minnesota, played their music in the hayloft with the wooden dance floor. The price for a dance ticket was 25 cents. Unfortunately with the start of WWII, many men were drafted and thus ended the dances at Chan's Barn. However, Arnie's interest in old-time polka music continued. He knew when and where his favorite bands were playing and had a vast record collection.
Throughout his earlier years, Arnie enjoyed traveling, listening to music, dancing, playing cards, checkers and Bingo. After selling the family farm in 2002, he retired and lived in Alexandria. He often spent his days driving his treasured 1985 Classic Chevrolet car or his 2007 Silverado Chevrolet truck reminiscing as he passed the family farm and visiting with people in the area.
Arnie died on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Tony Chan; infant brother, Ernest; and sister, Margie Muzik.
Arnie is survived by his sister, Virginia Kaiser; nephews, Larry Muzik and Jon Kaiser; nieces, Melody Warren and Kris Strom; and 10 great-nephews and nieces.
Arnie was baptized, confirmed and a member of St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Lake Reno.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, at Anderson Funeral Home. Interment will be held in the spring at St. John Nepomuk Cemetery.