Arla R. Aschermann

arla aschermann

May 19, 1921 ~ July 7, 2017

Resided in: Pueblo, CO

Arla Scott Aschermann was born May 19, 1921, in Kellerton, Iowa, to Glenn and Ruth Wyckoff Scott. She traced her lineage back eight generations to a Dutch immigrant to New Amsterdam in 1635. In 1941 she married Bob Aschermann in Taos, New Mexico. They were married 69 years. Children are Jerry of Union, Kentucky; David of Ft. Collins and John of Arvada, eight grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Several years ago a term was coined: 'The Greatest Generation.' This simply explains the life of Arla Aschermann. In her nearly ninety years she moved from outdoor plumbing in Iowa to the computer age. This was always done with dignity, in a quiet manner and always allowing others to accept the notoriety of what was a group accomplishment. At an early age her family moved from Iowa to a dry-land farm in the sand hills of northern Colorado. The arrival of electricity and a deep irrigation well changed farming for her father but the depression and prices for agricultural products resulted in the family losing the farm. Life must go on. The drought of the 1930's gave way to a flood that not only severely damaged the family home but drowned her mother's chickens that provided eggs to barter for goods on the Saturday trip to town and Safeway. 4-H was an important part of Arla's life during the Dust Bowl era in Colorado. As part of 4-H Arla program, Arla attended the Colorado State Fair two times to show her sewing abilities. In 1934 she represented Morgan County in the state spelling test. In high school she won first place in a Typing One contest in Northern Colorado. Education was important to Arla's parents.... Even through the lean years of the 1930's her parents were able to find a few dollars to send her to Brush High School, which meant that she had to 'board' in town during the week and pay tuition to the city school. High school graduation was followed by going to 'business school' in Denver. In 1941 jobs were difficult to come-by. Arla received a job offer to work in the social security office in Alamosa, Colorado. For a nineteen year old female, moving from rural Brush to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley took courage and determination: no one in the family had any idea where Alamosa was.... Traveling by train from Brush to Alamosa was not much more advanced than traveling by covered wagon. As she moved from the flat lands of Morgan County over LaVeta Pass into the majestic San Luis Valley, she must have been asking herself 'what am I getting myself into?' But a job was a job. Within several weeks of her arrival in Alamosa her mother passed away. Not yet having received a pay check, she had to borrow $10 from a man in the boarding house for transportation back to Brush. Rather than repay Bob Aschermann the $10, she married him. In April 2010 they celebrated their sixty-nine years of marriage and raised three boys. December 7, 1941. Many will remember this day which meant that soon Arla and the first born would move to Abilene, Texas to share a few precious days as Bob completed his OCS. As many women of the era, for next years she had the daily wait for the mailman to deliver a letter written in Europe and the dread of the Western Union delivery person bringing a telegram from the president of the United States. The late 1940's, 1950's and 1960's were used to conform to the role model expected of women of that era: mother, PTA, school room mother, church work, attending ball games, cub scout den mother, sewing Boy Scout badges on shirts, playing taxi for the three boys, hyperventilating when the weekly grocery bill exceeded $25 and assisting Bob with his business: Lindsay Soft Water Company. A frequent trip for Arla and the boys was to Mesa Junction and the Pueblo library so the three boys could read beyond what was provided in Edison, Spann and Parkview elementary schools. Self-fulfillment and personal interests took a back seat to other family obligations. A special time of the month, however, was the monthly meeting of a church women's group that discussed a book that they were reading. Amongst the books read was Centennial by James Michener. This historical novel, that has as a setting near her home in Morgan County, Colorado, spurred Arla's curiosity and interest in history and the people who settled the lands in the new part of Colorado that she would call home for most of her life, i.e. Southern Colorado. In 1947 the family lived on Eilers Street or ½ block from the steel mill. Each trip up South Santa Fe passed a slag dump from the Pueblo smelters. When were the smelters built in Pueblo? What happened to them? Who were the people who worked in the smelters? There was so much she wanted to know and learn. Even in the days of the radio soap operas, Arla was not one to sit all afternoon to live the vicarious lives of the rich and beautiful people heard on the radio or seen on TV and drink coffee. The 1970's meant that the three boys were grown and on their own--- time for Arla to begin doing things that Arla wanted to do. This meant beginning to volunteer at historical sites in Pueblo and enrolling in personal development classes at SCSC. At the same time she began to notice physical changes in Pueblo.... Land marks were beginning to disappear without most people knowing or caring. She bought a 35mm camera and began doing photography of buildings from Pueblo's past. Today those photos frequently appear in the Pueblo Lore. Arla had an interest in the stories of Pueblo that few knew about or were quickly being forgotten about: the oil refinery on Overton Road, the communal German settlement in the Wet Mountain Valley, early churches of Pueblo and the location of all the Pueblo County communities before the arrival of the railroad. She had the tenacity, curiosity and searching mind to continue researching a story until the questions she asked herself were answered. Then she shared her findings with the Pueblo community through The Lore. A Google search shows that Arla's major 1982 monograph, Winds in the Cornfields of Pueblo County: Ghost Towns and Settlements 1787-1872, is still book being sold and read around the world. With the assistance of a cartographer from a university professor, every pre-1872 community in Pueblo County was located on a map that is available from the Pueblo County Historical Society. The map was something that maybe others had talked about but it was Arla who preserved the history of Pueblo County by actually getting the job done. From the 1970's to the 21st century Arla was involved with over 150 items printed in the Pueblo Lore. Her early writings were done on a black manual fabric ribbon typewriter that she obtained when graduating from business school in 1939. The arrival of the personal computer of the 1990's brought challenges to Arla. At the age of 69 she jumped into the new era of communication. Like many of us, the early 1990's was a period of flux and instability until Microsoft became the accepted and dominant word processing program. About the time that she would master one program, a new and better one became available. 'Time to change again.' Using trial and error , Arla mastered the changing word processing programs, the internet, google, photo scanning and a publishing program to make a press ready copy of the Pueblo Lore. For a quarter of a century she was responsible for the production end of the Pueblo Lore. Few people understand the complexities of trying to juggle text, stories, headlines and photos in order to fill the allocated number of pages without leaving something out or making the entire production look cluttered. With the assistance of the Pueblo County Historical Society publications committee, the Pueblo Lore moved from what looked like a marginal local 'home made' production to a publication that high lights one of the most dynamic local historical associations in the country. Few community or regional historical associations have anything that has the research and writing quality and production quality that readers of the Pueblo Lore will find. The internet brought to Arla information that had for years been family folk lore, i.e. her blood and roots go back to the beginning of the European settlement of North America. Using the internet and the names of her mother and grandparents, she was able to trace her line back to one Pieter Claesen who entered New Netherlands in 1637 as an indentured servant. Her genealogy data bank contains nearly one thousand 'relatives.' At an age of ninety plus years, Arla has a folder that contains 'ideas' about stories she still intends to write to help preserve the history and the culture of Southern Colorado. Those of the Greatest Generation continue like the little pink bunny that we see in television advertisements..... they go and they go and they go. At 95 years old, Arla did not miss a televised game of her favorite Denver Broncos. She continued to live in an independent living facility in the Denver area. In 2005, she complained that she is so many with the in-house social activities that she rarely has time to continue her 'My Story' project, i.e. an autobiography. Funeral Service, 11 A.M. Thursday, July 13, 2017, in the Montgomery & Steward Chapel. Interment, Imperial Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Pueblo Historical Society, 203 West B Street, Pueblo, CO 81003 Online condolences,

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  1. Jerry, Dave, and John,

    As you know, we were neighbors on East 5th Street in Pueblo. I did not have an opportunity to know Arla or Bob very well back then, the mid 50’s. But I do remember your dad worked for Lindsey Soft Water Company and like most of the dads on the block, he worked hard. I can still see him coming home with his lunch box in hand in his Lindsey uniform.

    Arla, like most moms, was a homemaker. And what a fine family she and your dad raised. You boys and your families are her proud legacy.

    While I did not know Arla while growing up on 5th street, I got to know her much better when she moved to assisted living near my home in Westminster. It had been a good 60 years since she raised you boys on the lower Eastside in Pueblo four doors down from our family. I was not sure she would remember me when I visited her. Much to my surprise, she not only remembered me but all the kids on the block: the good kids and the not so good ones.

    I was amazed that she mastered an IPad and was writing her life story in her 90’s. She shared much of her story with me and we talked like old friends for hours. She was kind, nurturing, and full of vigor.

    When I took her a Bronco Hat and asked her if she was going to cheer them on in the Super Bowl, she did not miss a beat. She donned the Bronco hat, yelled “Go Broncos.” Then we took a selfie that we shared on FB, both of us with our hats on, cheering the Broncos.

    Indeed, Arla was an wonderful member of the “Greatest Generation.” She was also a remarkable member of the generations that followed. She never stopped learning, and lived a full and rewarding life. I will miss her.

    I wish I could be there for the services in Pueblo, but my commitments here in Denver do not allow it. Please accept my condolences.

    Que Dios te Bendiga Arla mi Amiga.

  2. Mom and Dad were great friends of your folks and shared many memories with them. We know your dad died a few years ago and your mom moved up north with family. We hope her last years were as memorable as her years here in Pueblo. We recently found some of her recipies that she shared with Margaret. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of your loss.

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