Arlene Kurtti (1936 - 2017)

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Lifelong Anchorage, Alaska, resident Arlene Kurtti passed away on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, due to congestive heart failure. Arlene was born in Anchorage on Jan. 22, 1936. Her grandfather operated a small farm in the Chester Creek Valley near Ingra Street. She talked about how he would sometimes pick her up from school in a horse-drawn sleigh. She attended high school at Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka, Alaska. Her early summers were spent at fish camp across Cook Inlet.
Arlene led an active life. In her younger years she enjoyed roller skate dancing, was a state champion bowler, tried sky diving and always enjoyed life to the fullest. She raised three children - a single mother working as a banquet waitress. Sometimes money was tight, but she always made up for it with love and the sense of family she instilled.
For the last 20-plus years she has lived on the hillside with her husband Paul Kurtti, enjoying gardening, her pets and hosting numerous annual gatherings for her family and friends, as well as helping in her daughter's care. She will be deeply missed by all that know her.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Shirley Tucker; and brother, Malcolm "Skip" McKinnon. Arlene is survived by her husband, Paul Kurtti; brother, Peter McKinnon; daughters, Dolene Simone and Kelly Simon; son, Terry Simon; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, 2017