Cover photo for Kathleen Arso's Obituary
Kathleen Arso Profile Photo
1939 Kathleen 2022

Kathleen Arso

July 1, 1939 — November 21, 2022


Please use this link to view the service livestream.


We bid farewell to our dear wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend, Kathleen Arso, on November 21, 2022, at St. Alexius Medical Center. She was surrounded by her family in her final moments and will be missed by many.

Mass of Christian burial will be held 10:00 A.M. Friday, Nov. 25, at Church of Corpus Christi, 1919 N 2nd St, Bismarck.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

Kathleen Arletta DeForest was born July 1, 1939, in Hankinson, ND, to Herbert and Viola DeForest. The family moved to Bismarck as a result of her father’s job as an engineer on the Soo Line Railroad. She attended both St. Mary’s Central High School and Bismarck High School.

Besides being a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Kathleen was an advocate, a champion, and a fighter for those who didn’t have a voice. She spent hours in legislative sessions fighting for the rights of the handicapped. She was the voice to those that didn’t have one and her voice was heard. She was able to get legislation passed to gain rights for those too vulnerable to fight for themselves.

She also carried on the “Rummage Sale Tradition” of buying something for everyone whether they needed it or not. She had a heart of gold, but as she would say, “Not always the jingles to go with it.” With that said, she kept buying and buying. She will now be relaxed with her Coke in hand, watching down on those of us left to clean out ALL THE ROOMS in the house and have our own rummage sale. She will laugh as we find something she has been looking for and say, “That’s where I put it.” Over the years, Kathleen worked as a bookkeeper, a real estate agent, and a hostess at the Bismarck Elk’s Lodge. She made the decision to quit working outside the home and dedicated her life to taking care of her children and grandchildren.

Kathleen is survived by her husband, Robert; children, Teri, Mike (Alice), and Nancy; nine grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and her siblings, Lee (Carol) DeForest, Jim (Sandy) DeForest, Carole Treadway, Bernadette (Jack) Brown, and Frank (Pat) DeForest.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Viola; brother, Patrick DeForest; daughter, Marilyn Arso; and her great-granddaughter, Mila Arso-Anderson.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen Arso, please visit our flower store.


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