Arline Schubert, '82, remembered for the Smile on her Face

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School of Law


Arline Schubert is being remembered for her love of teaching, travel and UND sports; her work as an attorney, and her kind and caring personality.

She passed away in her sleep Saturday at her Grand Forks home at age 79.

"Very kind and patient," George said of his wife of 60 years.

"She knew so many people—from her work in the legal profession, from teaching, from the University (UND)."

An avid UND sports fan, Arline especially enjoyed women's ice hockey and volleyball, he said. "We always had the whole (women's hockey) team over for dinner."

The couple has lived in Grand Forks for most of the past 50 years.

Neil Reuter, who's been a friend since the 1960s, said Arline "was vibrant, she liked to visit."

"She was definitely a Sioux fan. Even if she didn't go to the games, she listened to (them)."

She was proud of the endowment that she and George established for the UND Athletic Academic Center, Reuter said.

In the mid-1970s, after teaching English in area schools for 18 years, Arline enrolled at the UND law school at age 40.

"It was 'choice time,'" her husband said. "She was either going to go back to school to earn a Ph.D. in English or go to law school. She chose law."

Judge Debbie Kleven, of the the state's Northeast Central Judicial District, Grand Forks, attended law school and later worked with Arline in the court system.

"She was an attorney who got to know her clients personally. She was a strong advocate for them," Kleven said. "She understood punishment, but recognized the need for treatment (in cases involving) chemical dependency or mental health issues."

Arline was at the forefront in the legal profession's response to domestic violence, Kleven said.

"She was one of the first attorneys to recognize domestic violence issues in relationships, that they needed to be brought to the court's attention in divorce and child custody. ... She pushed for recognition of those issues and how they impacted the family."

As lawyers, they could oppose each other in court and "then go and have a cup of coffee," Kleven said. "She was a lovely person—always a smile on her face."

But "teaching was probably what she enjoyed most—that's when she was professionally happiest," George said. "She enjoyed the law but not to the extent of teaching."

Arline continued to work as a substitute teacher in the Grand Forks school system until recently.

She also loved to travel, taking many trips with her daughters, sisters and grandchildren.

"We must have thousands of pages of her writing about her travels around here," he said.

Arline and George traveled extensively, too, around the contiguous United States and Alaska. "We traveled from Florida to Maine, southern California to Seattle—many, many places," he said.

Last Saturday, he and Arline had intended to drive to the Black Hills to spend a few days and celebrate the birthday of a great-grandchild.

When he went to wake her, she was cold to the touch, George said. It was a terrible shock; the memory lingers.

"It's pretty tough," he said.

Her death was probably heart-related, he was told. She had undergone open heart surgery and other cardiac procedures, and was taking heart, thyroid and arthritis prescription medications.