John M. Arceneau


John M. Arceneau, 63, of Sauk Centre, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep July 4, 2024, at his home in Sauk Centre.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 11, at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Elrosa with the Rev. Mark Botzet officiating. A private inurnment will be held at a later date.

Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre and 9:45-10:45 a.m. July 11 at the church. 

John Martin Arceneau, the son of Clarence and Joan (Shay) Arceneau, was born Oct. 24, 1960, in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. John was one of eight children who grew up on the family farm near Elrosa. He was a member of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. He attended Elrosa Elementary School and graduated from Belgrade High School in 1979. Following high school, John worked at Jennie-O in Willmar and then traveled south to Texas to work in custom harvesting. John then returned to Minnesota where he worked with Steve Khul on a farm near St. Martin, and then worked with his dear friend, Gene Illies, at Illies Motors. John eventually bought his first farm from Bernard Arceneau in 1987. 

John met the absolute love of his life, Starla Wilkens, in 1986. They married May 20, 1989, and were soon blessed with two daughters, Santana and Shania. John and Starla raised their girls on their family farm where John raised laying hens and farmed the land with his brother, Fred, until he retired in 2013. Following retirement, John and Starla moved off the family farm and moved into their new home in Sauk Centre. 

In retirement, John was able to fill his time with activities he truly loved, auctioning with his brother-in-law, Mark Quade. On a good day you would find John at a sale, in his natural habitat. Even more than auctioning, John loved his family. Starla and John were married for 35 years. Starla said the first 25 years John spent working hard to provide for their family. The next 25 years were for the two of them to travel and go on adventures together. They were able to enjoy many places, including Hawaii, Maine and many trips to Mexico.

John was filled with true pride and pure joy by his grandchildren, Dawson, 15; Charlie, 9; Annalise, 5; and Tae, 2. Nothing was too good, or off limits, for his grandchildren, regardless of what their parents said. John was their papa, and they loved him dearly.

John was a man who others could rely on, no questions asked. He would be there if you called on him.  His unwavering love, steadfast faith and profound loyalty made John a one-of-a-kind child of God. 

John is survived by his wife, Starla Arceneau, of Sauk Centre; daughters Santana (Simon) Uphus of Sauk Centre and Shania (Alex) Chase of Glenwood; four grandchildren Dawson, Charlie, Annalise and Tae; mother Joan Arceneau of Elrosa; siblings Dean (Betsy) Arceneau of Belgrade, Fred (Jan) Arceneau of Belgrade, Paul (Sandy) Arceneau of Melrose, Mark Arceneau of Elrosa, Peter (Lora) Arceneau of Cold Spring, Joel (Lisa) Arceneau of Alexandria, and Ann (Dale) Schleper of Melrose; sisters-in-law Jana (Mark) Quade of Sauk Centre and Darla Stanford of Texas; brother-in-law Wesley (Sheila) Wilkens of North Dakota; godchildren Brett Wilkens and Anthony Arceneau; and many beloved extended family members.

John was preceded in death by his father, Clarence Arceneau; uncle Bernard Arceneau; father-in-law and mother-in-law John and Beverly Wilkens; brothers-in-law Michael Salveson and John Stanford; niece Chantell Arceneau; and nephew Beau Wilkens. 

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Sauk Centre.