Arlene Gayle Van Eman died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Friday, February 21, 2014, following a brief battle with cancer.
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Arlene was born on July 14, 1939 in Houston, Texas, to Don Carlos and Frances Berry Strong. She graduated from Mirabeau B. Lamar High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega.
Arlene's childhood summers were spent by the waters of the Blanco River in Wimberley. She cherished being able to take her children and grandchildren to Blue Hole, where she was able to tell story after story of her time shared there with her brother and parents. She loved the mountains of Colorado, especially Lake City, where she vacationed with family and friends for countless summers.
Arlene served as the Republican Precinct Chair for Washington County. Apart from her children and grandchildren, this was her greatest fulfillment. Her knowledge of politics was immense. She was involved in numerous committees and organizations in the Brenham and Washington County area. Arlene was an avid reader. She was an integral part of her book club, looking forward to the times she could plan and prepare to host the club at her home.
Arlene loved nothing more in this world than her children and grandchildren. "Nana" was happiest when the house was full. She spent most of her time in the kitchen, making different fabulous desserts with each of the grandchildren. She was a fantastic cook, and shared her love of cooking with her entire family.
Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Frances Strong.
Arlene is survived by her beloved husband of 53 years, Charles Kenneth Van Eman; daughter Kimberley Gayle Bauer and husband Rick; son Charles Mark Van Eman and wife Sarah; and daughter Sherri Lynn Pullen and husband Corey. She is also survived by her treasured brother, Don Alan Strong. The grandchildren whom she leaves behind to honor her legacy are: Matthew Taylor McNair, William Charles Bauer, Ashley Renee Bauer and Kristen Nicole Bauer; Andrew William Van Eman and Abby Elizabeth Van Eman; Emily Frances Pullen and Paul Wise Pullen. She also leaves to grieve numerous extended family members and many dear friends with whom she shared a lifetime of memories.
A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, March 1st, at First United Methodist Church, 408 North Baylor, Brenham, Texas 77833 with reception following in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to her church.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 23, 2014