She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Mankato State University and was a registered nurse in the obstetrics department at St. Joseph’s Hospital where she also served as practical nurse educator.
She was on the nursing faculty at MSU until being asked to start a nursing program at what was then Mankato Vocational School, now South Central College. She served as director of the nursing program until she retired in 1980.
She’s authored and co-authored several nursing textbooks.
They moved to Owatonna in 2003.
When someone called in August saying they were from the Artists Music Guild and telling her she was a finalist for an award, von Arb hung up on them.
“I though it was a joke my son or brother was playing on me. They called me right back and said it’s not a joke.”
The music guild’s interest in education is tied to its mentoring program in music and a college it has in Virginia that allows needy students to attend for a fraction of the cost of other colleges.
Since winning her award, the Music Guild asked von Arb to be on their board.
von Arb still has no idea who nominated her.
von Arb said her and Ron’s volunteer efforts have derailed what they thought would be winters spent in Texas and lots of traveling.
“We’ve retired four times. We retire and get involved in something again.”
But, she insists, she’s going to stay at least semi-retired. “We’re going to Texas for a least a month each year. I have to go sky diving.”
As for other exotic adventures she’d like to undertake, she has several. But one has little interest.
“Going up in a hot air balloon — I can’t imagine that would be fun. You’d be going so slow.”