Arnie Smetana was born May 27, 1953 in Rush City, Minnesota to Rudy and Lucy Smetana. He passed away June 1, 2023 at his home in Rock Creek, Minnesota surrounded by his loving family.
Arnie grew up on the family farm west of Beroun, Minnesota. He attended the North Star Rural School, District #42 through the sixth grade. He was a member of the last class to attend that school. He graduated from Pine City High school in 1971. He studied Automotive Mechanics at Pine Technical Institute, graduating from that program in 1973.
He started working at Tinker and Larson Garage in Mora, Minnesota, specializing in air conditioning repair and towing. He was later employed by the Pine City High School, advancing to Lead Custodian and Grounds Maintenance; a career that spanned thirty-eight years until retiring in 2014.
After a courtship that began at A&W, Arnie married his classmate Darlene Mottl on June 10, 1978. In July of 1979 they welcomed their daughter Beth.
Arnie loved volunteering, it was an important part of his life. He was very proud to be a card-carrying member of Girl Scout Troop #230. Arnie also was a twenty-three year volunteer for Pine County 4-H. He served on the general livestock PDC, on the fair auction committee, and as the 4-H Swine Superintendent at the fair. He built the original agility equipment for the dog project. He especially loved working in the lunch stand and being known as “The Pancake Guy” for seventeen years. He was also a member of the Pine City Knights of Columbus. Arnie’s most recent volunteering was calling Bingo for the VFW Auxiliary.
Arnie was a lover and collector of tractors. He proudly showcased his restoration efforts at tractor parades and threshing shows at which he made many great friends.
Arnie and Darlene enjoyed traveling in their retirement. They especially enjoyed the two cruises they took, experiencing the new locales and cuisine. Most recently, they enjoyed a bus-trip to Branson, Missouri.
Arnie will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Arnie is survived by his wife, Darlene of Rock Creek; daughter, Beth (Tim) Curry of Isanti; siblings, Ronald (Gail) Smetana of Pine City, Vernon (Inese) Smetana of Pine City, and Karen (Ken) Fox of Eden Prairie; brother-in-laws, William Mottl of Waterloo, IA, Warren (Sandy) Mottl of Freedom, WI, and Marv (Jo) Mottl of Forest Lake; many nieces, nephews, friends, and the Rock Creek Coffee Buddies.
Arnie was preceded in death by his parents; great-nephew, Bobby Johnson; mother-in-law, Margaret Mottl; and father-in-law, William Mottl.
Monsignor Aleksander Suchan will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial for Arnie: 10:30 AM; Thursday, June 8, 2023 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pine City. A gathering of family and friends is planned from 5-8 PM Wednesday (6/7) with a prayer service at 7:30 PM at the Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City and also one hour prior to the Mass at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Pine County 4-H.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City ~ Swanson Chapel