Obituary: Paul “Biggie” Edward Arola

American flag Paul 'Biggie' Edward ArolaAlways the story teller, humorist, and lover of making others laugh, Biggie is now playing at a different venue and has a new audience. He is swapping stories with the angels, and singing in a choir where he no longer needs to just mouth the words.

Paul (Biggie) Edward Arola, 81, of Park Forest, IL passed away at his winter home in Naples, FL. on January 27, 2017. He was born February 1, 1935 in Soudan, MN, son of the late Edward and Adele (Beland) Arola. Paul married Barbara Pietrini on December 26, 1959.

Paul graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1953 where he was active in sports and held many leadership roles. He graduated from University of Minnesota – Duluth with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and political science.

He served as a personnel psychologist for the U.S. Army in Denver, CO. He then worked as a Social Worker for St. Louis County, Duluth, MN. Paul worked on his Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He retired from the National Labor Relations Board -Region 13 Chicago, where he was a field examiner.

U.S. Army emblem logo“Biggie” as everyone knew him brought a smile and much joy to everyone who met him as they enjoyed hearing his humorous stories. A lover of gardening, photography, reading, traveling, and occasionally trying his hand at woodworking. In his later years, his greatest joy was doting on the “dollies,” his two granddaughters.

Paul is survived by the love of his life, his adoring wife of 57 years, Barbara; their two daughters: Jean Arola of Oak Forest, IL; Christine (Scott) Vander Wielen of Kimberly, WI; two granddaughters; Kaila and Breana Vander Wielen; his sister, Alice Arola of Soudan and Cook, MN; and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Adele (Beland); his father-in law, Elio Pietrini, and mother-in-law, Jean (Vincent) Pietrini.

Visitation for Paul will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Saturday February 4, 2017 at Hirsch West End Funeral Home, 3501 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, IL. Services to take place at 3:00 p.m. the same day and location. Interment Private burial Monday at Skyline Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, 1140 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607.