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Community Icon Dies

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She was an institution -- a community pillar -- an icon in Minot...

Arlene Saugstad lived a good and long life -- but that life came to an end this weekend.

Sunday, Arlene passed away at the age of 101.

Perry Olson looks back at what she meant for the city she loved so much.

It was a life that started with a smile...and lasted more than a century. Arlene Saugstad passed away Sunday -- just a few months shy of her 102nd birthday. Dr. John Fishpaw -- a Mouse River Players member who visited her in the hospital just last week spoke of that final meeting Monday...

(Dr. John Fishpaw - Mouse River Players) "She was holding on to my hand and boy did she have a grip. That is a good metaphor for her life. She was very tenacious with all of the organizations that she supported."

And support she did -- be it tours of homes, the symphony, music, drama -- you can bet that Arlene had her hand in it.

(Terri Aldrich - Minot Area Council of the Arts) "She loved them...and everyone loved that she loved them!"

She didn't just support -- she participated -- and was active in so many groups...never one to sit on the sidelines. Even late in life -- into her 100s as she celebrated here on a Noon Show visit -- she was ready to make a project better...

(Terri Aldrich - Minot Area Council of the Arts) "Not only was she truly exemplifying positive, powerful PR...she also was not afraid to let you know if there was something not right either."

But it was how she could deliver those critiques that made her so effective...offering advise without tearing down.

(Terri Aldrich - Minot Area Council of the Arts) "There is no replacing someone like that..."

And while arts was her passion, her family was her love...

(Dr. John Fishpaw - Mouse River Players) "What she really enjoyed talking about was her family...she was so proud...and said so many good things about her children and her grandchildren..."

Her name will live on -- thanks to this -- the Arlene at the Mouse River Players Community Theatre...the actual theatre is named after her...

(Terri Aldrich - Minot Area Council of the Arts) "You could see her smile just beaming from ear to ear and she was very proud to think that something she had helped with was now going to become a landmark and a place where people go to experience the best that Minot has to offer." (Perry Olson - KX News) "In the theatre named in her honor, the best and most comfortable seat was always open for Arlene. She is gone now after 101 years, but especially here, will never be forgotten. In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News."

Funeral plans for Arlene are still being finalized.

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