Fern Arpi passed away on May 3, less than one month shy of her 94th birthday.
She was born on May 25, 1920 in Superior, Wis.
Fern graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1938 and the University of Minnesota in 1942. Fern married Bill Arpi on Jan. 19, 1949, and for several years they lived in Ducktown, Tenn., where Bill was employed as a mining engineer. In the early 1950s, the Arpis moved to Virginia, Minn., where Bill became superintendent of the Pilotac taconite plant. Fern taught English and substitute taught for a few years.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Fern educated herself and prodded others to get involved in environmental and social issues affecting our society. She was particularly passionate about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and was one of the few northeastern Minnesota residents to lobby Congress in favor of increased wilderness protection in 1978. She wrote countless letters to various newspapers and to many members of Congress on environmental, social, and war and peace issues. In recent years, copper-nickel mining issues and classes at University for Seniors have taken much of her time.
Preceded in death by her parents and her husband.
Fern is survived by her son David and daughter-in-law Natalie Gubb; daughter Rachel and son-in-law David Grapentine, son Richard, and sister-in-law Laverne Evans. Fern is also survived by six grandsons.
The family would like to thank the staff at Westwood, the Terrace, the Benedictine Health Service, and St. Marys Hospital for special care during the past few years.
GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. celebration of life in the Unitarian Universalist Church 835 W College St, Duluth on Saturday, May 10, 2014. In lieu of flowers, two suggested memorials are the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the University for Seniors at UMD.