Our beloved mother, Irene, was born to Grant and Maggie Moore in Okfuskee, Oklahoma where she grew up the oldest of eight children. In addition to helping the family work in the fields, she worked hard caring for her younger brothers and sisters whom she dearly loved. In 1944, Mom moved to Southern California to seek employment. On a trip to visit relatives in Woodbridge, CA, she met and fell in love with Army SGT Nicholas Arena. They married on her birthday in 1946 and settled in Lodi. Karen was born in July 1947 and Nancy, their second daughter, in July 1951.
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Together, Mom and Dad devoted their lives to their beloved Lodi First United Methodist Church. Mom enjoyed more than 50 years serving God with her Methodist sisters as an active member of the United Methodist Women and volunteered in many local church missions. Foremost in Mom's life was the love and devotion she had for her family. She was a nurturer of life, including her children, grandchildren, great-granddaughters, her friends, her flowers and garden. She was a woman of integrity, honesty, compassion, unfailing faith and good old common sense. Babies and little children always brought a smile to her face. She always remained proud of her home state of Oklahoma and her Irish and Cherokee heritage. In 2005, Irene and Karen moved to Salem, Oregon to enjoy the love and companionship of their family. Sadly, Mom passed away after complications resulting from strokes. Under the guidance of Willamette Valley Hospice, we were gratefully able to care for her at home until she passed away. She will always and forever be deeply and truly missed. She is survived by daughters, Karen Arena and Nancy Weisenhaus (Bill), grandson Kristopher Mokma, granddaughter Susan Larson (Bill), and great-granddaughters Rachel Kelly-Larson, Mia Larson, sisters Oneta Moore, Myrtle Peden, Vangie Vaughn, and brother Jack Moore. Mom was preceded in death by our dad Nicholas, her parents, and her brothers Billy, Cleve and Leslie. In accordance with Mother's wishes, there will be no funeral service. In lieu of flowers, the following charities were close to Mom's heart: Willamette Valley Hospice, 1015 3rd St NW, Salem, OR 97304-4007; First United Methodist Church, 200 W. Oak St., Lodi, CA 95240; Five Civilized Tribes Museum, 1101 Honor Heights Drive, Muskogee, OK 74401; and Lovely Lane Methodist Church, 2200 St. Paul St, Baltimore, MD 21218-5805.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Mar. 3 to Mar. 10, 2011