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The Dellwood family fights Alzheimer’s disease with wine and fashion

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On Friday evening, a Dellwood family hosted hundreds of others for a Fashion for Alzheimers charity event, complete with fashion show, wine and fundraiser.

DELLWOOD, Minn. Arlie Peltier lived generously, loved fiercely, and dressed fashionably.

In fact, the Arlies family first realized something was wrong when their fashion sense started to fade.

She put on a summer outfit in the middle of winter. Put something upside down, husband Ron Peltier remembers his wife of nearly 52 years.

Mismatched outfits. Misplaced keys. Forgotten names. It all started to add up for the Peltier family. Years before receiving the official diagnosis, they knew they had begun the journey of Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, you know where this is going. And every day is the last best day you have until you have none. It just keeps getting to you, Ron Peltier shared with KARE 11’s Karla Hult on Friday afternoon.

The roots of a family run deep

However, decades before this journey began, the Peltier family began with a connection between two teenagers.

I met her when I was 15, Ron recalls, adding that she was a very intelligent, beautiful and elegant woman.

The Peltiers were married on February 15, 1970, a day after Valentine’s Day because of Rons’ hockey game (he played at Johnson High School and the University of Minnesota). The high school sweethearts eventually worked in real estate together while raising a son and daughter. Arlie played piano and guitar, baked treats for other people, and cooked Ron’s favorite dinners. Over the years they added seven grandchildren to the mix, while also investing in land in the Dellwood property they decided they could help give back to their community.

We wanted to build something that would be a place where people could come and have a good time, said Ron, adding that the dream of building 7 Vineyards and Cellar would also reflect Arlies’ love of entertainment.

We started building the winery in 2015, around the time she was officially diagnosed, Ron said.

Back to travel

It brings us back to those mismatched outfits, misplaced keys, and forgotten names. The family believe Arlie started showing signs of Alzheimer’s in 2010, when she was just 60.

Not only do you lose your mother, your wife, but at each step you cry something. Another loss, another part of her that seems to be missing, until you look for whatever you can find that is still her, said Janee Katz, daughter of Ron and Arlies.

Janee talked to her children about their grandmother, trying to remind them every day of who she was. She was definitely the most generous and loving. Her beauty definitely shone on the outside, but she radiated even more on the inside.

Ron recalled how the family had pledged to take care of his wife around the clock, which he also showered with affirmation.

People who loved her told her several times a day that she was loved, he said.

Arlie died in October 2021 at the age of 71.

She was the love of my life and still is, in her life and in her death, Ron said.

Pay before fashion

On Friday night, the Peltiers joined hundreds of others for a Fashion for Alzheimers charity event, including a fashion show, wine and a fundraiser for the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Research Center .

My mom’s love of fashion and how elegant and graceful she looked — and what a statement she made when she walked into a room — seemed like the perfect fit, Janee said.

The family will continue their fight for this first survivor, Janee said, with a wine created in 2020 especially for Arlie: Reminisce. A portion of every bottle or glass of Reminisce sold will also support research at the Mayo Clinic.

It’s our little way of making a difference, said Janee.

As for Ron, he misses his bride, who selflessly supported others, loved to entertain and yes, also loved fashion. But he hopes Arlie finds comfort in his own heritage.

Knowing Arlie, she’s up there, smiling. And I know that’s what she would like. It’s our way of celebrating her, celebrating life and trying to find a place to raise money to help find a cure so others don’t have to go through this, Ron said.

To learn more about the 7 vines vineyard and cellar, including how to purchase a bottle of Reminisce, click or tap ite.

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