Born: June 25, 1902
My name is Arnie Meleen, and I was born in Sweden on June 25th, 1902. My family and I moved to America to find an easier life, but shortly after arriving to America, my father died unexpectedly. My mother, my brother Carl, my sister Eleanor, and I were left without much money in this new country. Thanks to the Salvation Army, we were provided with money and land in Minnesota to start a farm. Later in my life, I contributed much of my life savings to five well known charities. Two million dollars was donated to The Salvation Army, Courage Center, Vision Loss Resources, Dunwoody Institute, and the Zion Lutheran Church of Milaca. The Salvation Army in Minneapolis, Minnesota was dedicated to me. I also contributed one million dollars to my great-nephews and great-nieces for their secondary education ($40,000 for each child). About two weeks after my 105th birthday party, I passed away peacefully in my home on July 9th, 2007. My descendants say coming from nothing, I was self-sacrificing for the good of others. They also say that my generosity made a difference for many and my legacy lives on.
Contributed by: Tara Meleen, L'Anse High School