Saturday, August 21, 2010

Florence Mary Arenz (1928-2010)

We have been dealing with the loss of Marcia's mother, Florence Mary Arenz, who died after a long illness on August 8, 2010, in Gearhart, Oregon.

Florence was born July 31, 1928, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the second daughter of Frederick and Mary (Ludwick) Blymeir. She joined her sister, Margaret and two brothers, Julius and James. Her early education took place in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Sociology, then worked at the University of Chicago downtown campus as Registrar, as well as with famed psychologist Carl Rogers as personal secretary.

Florence later moved on to Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, as an Academic Advisor, counseling students on curriculum choices, and then went on to the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, where she was an Administrator.

She was gifted with a remarkably clear and lovely soprano voice, and was active for many years with various choral groups in the Midwest. Florence sang under the direction of Robert Shaw several times, and received many critical accolades.

She met Robert Arenz (Marcia's step-father) in Monterey, and they were married in 1980. They moved to Cannon Beach, Oregon, in 1982, where they founded A Great Shop, a gift and home furnishing's store. They moved to Gearhart, Oregon, in 1989 and brought the store with them. A Great Shop celebrated its twenty-fifth birthday in July of this year. The shop and its unique goods have been featured in many newspaper articles and magazines, including a cover article in Coastal LIving.

Florence is survived by Robert, her two daughters Margaret Plichta (Roger) and Marcia Rappleye (Greg), both of Michigan, and her sister, Margaret Lee of Evanston, Illinois. She also leaves two grandchildren, Carlos and Liam Rappleye.

Her extended family includes step-children Hans Arenz (Tammy), Eric Arenz (Debbie), Elaine Arenz Brock (James), Annabelle Arenz Groh, and Heidi Arenz Kleist (James), step-grandchildren Elliot Rappleye and Hannah Rappleye, along with a constantly expanding collection of grand- and great-grandchildren scattered across the nation. She was predeceased by her parents, her two brothers, and by step-daughter Roberta Therese (Tré) Arenz.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at Calvary Episcopal Church in Seaside, Oregon.

She is very much missed.


Blogger Leslie said...


I'm sorry to hear about this, and sorry for both you and Marcia, and also the boys.

She sounds like a remarkable woman.

Do you and Marcia have any recordings of her singing?

8:30 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Thank you.

No, we don't; I suppose Robert (her husband) might.

I'll have to check.

Actually I didn't know she sang until very recently.

8:35 AM  

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