At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Arlene Sauer Memorial Fund
c/o Life Story Funeral Home - 60900 M-40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Funny, outgoing, and vivacious, Arlene Sauer was always the life of the party. With her vodka in hand and a sparkle in her eye, she had a humorous comeback for almost every situation – many of them unrepeatable! More than just a party girl, however, Arlene had a kind heart and a loving spirit. She liked everyone she met, and never had a cross word to say about anyone. Arlene’s friendly smile, wonderful sense of humor, and loving personality touched many hearts over the years; she was deeply loved, and will be deeply missed.
Arlene was born on November 14, 1937, sharing her birth year with the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and the publication of The Hobbit. Young Arlene was raised in Chicago, Illinois, where her father worked for Goodman manufacturing and her mother was a homemaker. The second of five children, Arlene grew up with siblings Dolores, Jim, Russell, and Philip. As the second oldest, Arlene often helped to care for her younger siblings. Energetic and upbeat from the get-go, Arlene soon earned the nickname of “Jitterbug,” since she was always on the move!
The years sped swiftly by, and soon Arlene was a vivacious teenager attending Jones Commercial High School, where she learned to do office work. Arlene was very social, and had her fair share of adventures. On one memorable occasion, Arlene and her friends pulled the fire alarm so that everyone could get out of classes for an hour or so. Their plan would have worked – except that after pulling the alarm, they ran straight into the arms of the principal! Needless to say, the principal was not pleased, and the girls were expelled for a few days. In her free time, young Arlene loved listening to Johnnie Ray’s music – he was the heart throb of the day, and Arlene was a bit of a groupie. One of the highlights of her teenage years was the night she managed to sneak off to see him in concert.
After graduating from high school, Arlene married a young man named Charles Smoot. Arlene and Charlie would be married for 28 years, during which time they were blessed with four children: Charlene, Charles, Connie, and Robert. Charlie served in the Navy, while Arlene stayed home to raise the children. She was a wonderful mother, who supported her children in all their endeavors. They eventually moved to Michigan, where they purchased a grape vineyard in Lawton from a family member. Arlene showed the kids how to appreciate the simple things in life and instilled a strong work ethic on her family.
As the children grew older, Arlene started working outside the home. She found a job at Welch’s factory, where she would be a loyal employee for the next 23 years. She worked a variety of positions within the company, eventually being promoted to Lead Person. Arlene loved her job, and over the years was awarded a number of certificates recognizing her commitment.
When Arlene was in her forties, she met a man named Ron Sauer at Pep’s, a bar in Marcellus, Michigan. Arlene and Ron hit it off right away, and started dating. Ron told Arlene to save her pennies for a wedding license, and she did just that. The happy couple was married on October 16, 1986, at the Baldwin courthouse, and traveled up north for their honeymoon.
Arlene and Ron had soon settled into their current home, which has 20 acres. They shared a love of gardening, and both enjoyed having the extra space. Arlene and Ron shared their home with a few pets – Arlene loved dogs, and always had at least one around. Very social, Arlene made friends easily, and kept them. Their property was perfect for gatherings, and she and Ron would host large hog roasts with volleyball, bonfires, and hundreds of guests. For vacations, Arlene and Ron enjoyed heading up north to camp. They had a cap on the truck, and loved splitting a six-pack, eating smoked fish, and watching the sky.
Sadly, in recent years Arlene, a long-time smoker, has struggled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She had to be on oxygen, which slowed her down, and eventually went into home hospice care.
Outgoing, hardworking, and free-spirited, Arlene was a loving wife, a devoted mother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many friends and family members.
Arlene Sauer died on February 22, 2013, at the age of 75. Arlene’s family includes her husband of 26 years, Ron; her children, Charlene Etkind, Charles (Lori) Smoot and Connie Smoot; her daughter in law, Dalene Smoot; her step-children, Laura (Chaz) Ziemba, Mark (Trudy) Sauer, Shannon (John) Becker, Andy (Carmen) Kane and Scott Sauer; her grandchildren, Kim, Katie, Kristine, Michael, Carla, Ariel, Wolfgang, Joey, Perry, Jared, Jasmen, James, Judge, Melissa, Erica; and her great-grandchildren, Anna Belle, Hunter, Carson, Neoma, Delaney, Carson, Avery, Keira, and Nathanael. She was preceded in death by her son, Robert Smoot.
For those who wish, memorials may be directed to Arlene Memorial Fund. Please visit Arlene’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.