Cover photo for Donald J. Arens's Obituary
Donald J. Arens Profile Photo
1925 Donald 2024

Donald J. Arens

September 25, 1925 — January 12, 2024


Donald J. Arens, age 98, of Yankton, South Dakota passed away on Friday, January 12, 2024, at Sister James Care Center at Yankton. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton, South Dakota with Reverend Thi Pham officiating.  Military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 79 after the Mass.  Burial will be at a later date in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass on Wednesday at the Church.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.

Pallbearers will be Mike Arens, Francis Arens, Joe Arens, Jerry Keeley, Melvin Kruse, Joe Boehmer, Stanley Rupiper, and Larry Rupiper.

Donald J. Arens was born at Crofton Nebraska to Joseph L. and Anna M. (Schieffer) Arens on September 25, 1925.   He grew up on a farm south of Crofton where his mother raised him and his siblings during the dirty thirty’s after the death of his father in a drowning accident at a sand pit when Don was 3 years old. He attended a country grade school and graduated from Crofton High School after which he was inducted into the Army Air Force where he served from 1944 until the end of World War II in 1946.
Don attended Creighton University in 1947 after which he ranched in the Devils Nest area NW of Crofton for several years and worked for Western Engineering on dams being built on the Missouri river including Gavins Point. He also worked for the State of Nebraska overseeing bridge building projects.

Don married Rosella Boehmer on June 9, 1973 and the two of them resided on a farm in Holt County near Emmett and later moved to Yankton where they built a home on the north side of the lake. Don and Rosella enjoyed traveling which included many trips to Texas where they would spend a few months in the winter. Don and a good friend of his Jerry Keeley operated a custom harvesting operation until he was unable to do so anymore due to his age. Jerry continued to help Don including many trips to Veterans clinic in Sioux Falls.

Don was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Yankton. The rosary was very important to Don, often reciting it several times a day in his last years.  Don spent the last eight years of his life at Sister James and a special thanks to all the care givers who provided such great care for him all those years. They are truly Angels. 

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Rosella; sister, Mary Ann (Ray) Muller; brothers:  Francis (Rita) Arens, Joe (Betty) Arens, and James (Jimmy died at 2 years of age).  He was also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am

St. Benedict Catholic Church

1500 St Benedict Dr, Yankton, SD 57078

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1160

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree