Arvalyn Van Etten
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Arvalyn Rose (Bremer) Van Etten was born January 29, 1938 to Robert and Irma Bremer in Peoria, Illinois.
At 75 years of age, on November 11, 2013, Arvalyn (Arv) passed away at Northcrest Community Health Care Center. Arv had been at Northcrest for 6 months after her struggles with Alzheimer's left it impossible to continue living in her home in West Ames. Arv's family thanks the Northcrest's Health Care Center staff for the great care given her.
Arv grew up in Peoria, IL graduating from East Peoria High School in 1956. Arv attended the University of Illinois graduating in 1961 with a degree in Education.
Arv was married to James Van Etten from 1960 through 1977. After brief stays in both Urbana, IL and Pavia, Italy, they eventually settled in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1966. In 1968, Arv and James had a son, Robert (Rob) Van Etten. Arv and Rob moved to Ames in 1977 where Arv lived out her last 36 years. Rob attended Ames High School and Iowa State University.
In 1978, Arv met her true love and life companion, Paul Sharp of Ames. Paul and Arv were together for 35 years. In her final years, Arv and Paul shared their home in Ames and Paul provided constant care as Arv's difficulty with Alzheimer's progressed.
Arv initially taught grade school English but discovered an affinity for accounting during her time in Lincoln. Arv began preparing tax returns while in Lincoln and she spent 40 years as a tax preparer, both with a small, personal tax business and for 35 years with H&R Block.
In addition to tax work each spring, Arv held a number of accounting positions with Ames' businesses. Arv spent her final 18 years before retirement in the accounting department at Mainstream Living located in East Ames.
In her free time, Arv enjoyed walking outdoors. She took frequent walks throughout the Iowa State campus and campustown area. She enjoyed exploring State and County parks with Paul. Arv also enjoyed visiting friends and family; always ready for conversation. However, if children were present then the adults had to wait; children were very special to her.
Arv was an active member of St. Andrews Lutheran Church. She served on the Church Council as Treasurer.
Arv is survived by her son and his wife, Rob Van Etten and Patricia Alvarez of Hermosa Beach, CA. She is also survived by Paul Sharp and her two brothers, Warren Bremer of Peoria, IL and Rob Bremer of Gatlinburg, TN.
A memorial for Arvalyn will be held at St. Andrews Lutheran Church on Friday, November 22 at 11am. The memorial will be followed by a luncheon at St. Andrews fellowship hall. St. Andrews is located at 209 Colorado Ave in Ames.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial contributions to Alzheimer's disease research may be sent to the: University of Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Center, 600 Highland Avenue, J5/1 Mezzanine, Madison WI 53792-2420. Condolences and photos may be shared at www.adamssoderstrum.com
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 20, 2013