Arnold (Casey) Stengel


Arnold (Casey) Stengel passed into the arms of his Lord on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN after a short bout with pneumonia.

Born on October 8, 1934 in Saum, MN, Arnold was the youngest of five siblings born to Einar & Johanna (Krogseng) Stengel. His father passed away when Arnold was only three years old. Yet, because of the support of the small Norwegian community surrounding him, he was forty years old before he realized he’d been raised by a single mother. This spirit of service toward family and community became a hallmark of his life.

After graduating from Kelliher High School in 1952, Arnold enrolled in Concordia College, Moorhead where he met and fell in love with a young co-ed from North Dakota named Doris Mae Lueth. They were married in June of 1956 shortly after his graduation with a degree in education. Arnold and Doris spent the first years of their married life creating a family while following his teaching assignments at Sacred Heart, Plummer, and Herman, MN. He completed his Master’s Degree from the University of North Dakota in 1963 after which the Stengel family moved to Brainerd and he took up his position as a guidance counselor at the high school where he spent the remainder of his career.

Arnold had an immense interest in and capacity for community service birthed from his abiding faith in Christ and his mother’s insistence. He and Doris were members at Bethlehem Lutheran Church for decades where he served in a variety of roles. He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Kiwanis Club, Meals on Wheels, and Kinship Partners. He received various commendations for service over the years including Brainerd Schools Teacher of the Year, Crow Wing County Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year, Sertoma’s Service to Mankind Award, and Concordia College’s Call to Serve Award. One of his favorite volunteer roles was as a counselor for Minnesota All-State Lutheran Choir where he and Doris served with the founding director for twenty years.

His love for sports and passion to mentor young men led him to numerous coaching positions in baseball and football. In 1997, he was inducted into the Brainerd High School Sports Hall of Fame as a coach. In his retirement years, which began in 1992, Arnold became the ubiquitous Brainerd Warrior sports fan attending more sporting events than perhaps anyone in the history of the town. Of course, he was a life-long fan of all the various Minnesota sports teams too. In later years, you could find him in his backyard tending to his famous raspberry patch while listening to a game on the radio.

His family was his pride and joy. He loved travelling to see his children and grandchildren’s musical, theatrical, or sporting events and he was delighted to have anyone join him on his various hunting and fishing expeditions. He was Doris’s biggest poetry cheerleader. His siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins were always included in any road trip itinerary whenever possible. He embraced his Norwegian heritage while always making room for other cultures including sponsoring two foreign exchange students in his home - Carlos Dellien (Bolivia) and Beatrice Naana Osae (Ghana).

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Doris Stengel, sister Eva Stengel, sister-in-law Lorna Zirbel, son Randy (Karen) Stengel, son Shawn Stengel, daughter Wendy Jo (Phil) Cerna and  grandchildren Matthew (Heidi) Stengel, Kyle Stengel, Phillip Cerna, Delaney Cerna, and Livia Cerna, as well as great-grandchildren Ada and Case Stengel and numerous beloved nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, Einar and Johanna Stengel, brothers Bjarne (Arianna) Stengel and Paul (Garnett) Stengel,  infant sister Ann Marie Stengel as well as  brothers-in-law Fritz Zirbel and Vernon (Virginia) Lueth.

A funeral service will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brainerd, MN on Saturday, May 13th at 11am with visitation hours the previous evening Friday, May 12th from 5-7pm at Halvorson-Taylor Life Events Center in Brainerd.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Concordia College/Moorhead or Habitat for Humanity.

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