Arlene Compton Donnell
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Arlene died April 23, 2014. She was 93. Arlene was born December 30, 1920 in the home of her maternal grandparents, Charles and Ida Thomas in Ash Grove, Missouri. Her parents, George Almer Compton and Bertha Thomas Compton had gone there for that occasion. She was their first child. Arlene's birth certificate had several errors. Arlene said she could picture an old family doctor with a stub of a pencil in his hand - in the flickering light of a coal lamp - taking information from her Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother who had a thick German accent. Both of her names were reversed and misspelled. They returned to Springfield where she lived most of her life. At seven, she had polio. She felt lucky that her only residual impairment was to her right arm and neck. In 1925 her brother, George Aubrey was born. Arlene graduated from Greenwood and attended the State Teacher's College. While in high school and in college, she was a member of the marching drum corps and the modern dance group - the Orchesis. She was also active in drama classes and later appeared in several Little Theatre plays and was active in A Church Thespian Society at University Heights Baptist Church. Just before World War II, she went to Washington D.C. and worked for the Justice Department. During the war, the section where she worked was decentralized to Philadelphia. She lived there for a short time. However, she decided to return to Springfield. She worked at O'Reilly General Hospital as a medical secretary. A career she followed throughout her life. And she was a good one as she always declared.
While at O'Reilly, she met George Frederick Donnell from Blue Mountain, Mississippi. He was a patient. They were married Easter Sunday, April 21, 1946.
They both loved to travel and had been in all 50 state capitol buildings except for Juneau, Alaska, which was not open at the time they were there. They also toured all the lower Canadian provinces and the nearby Mexican states. They had four children: Ron and Patricia Donnell, Cave Creek, Arizona; Jan and Phillip Hockensmith, Springfield, Missouri; Fred and Charlotte Donnell, Billings, Missouri; and Greg and Jacquelyn Donnell, Springfield, Missouri. They had eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren: Kathy and Trevor Jacklin and son, John, Glendale, Arizona; Jason and Amanda Donnell and daughters, Logan and Madelyn, Crane, Missouri; Brandon and Michele Bridgeforth and sons, Spencer and Stewart, Gainesville, Virginia; Chris and Wendy Donnell and son, Quinn, New York City; Jeff and Nichole Donnell, Southlake, Texas; Andrew and Ashley Bridgeforth and children, Emma, Eli, Isabelle, and Lily, Lawrenceville, Georgia; Corey Donnell and son, Silas, Springfield, Missouri; and Kari and Brandon Clevenger and daughter, Hadley, Raymore, Missouri. Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, George and Bertha Compton and brother, George Aubrey - they all died within six months of each other, and many aunts, uncles and cousins. She was a happy person who loved God's beautiful earth and most all of His critters. Hers was a full life.
Graveside service and burial will be at 9 a.m. Friday, April 25, 2014 in Missouri Veterans Cemetery. No visitation is scheduled. Online condolences may be made at www.gormanscharpf.com.
Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home
1947 E. Seminole
Springfield, MO 65804
Published in the News-Leader on Apr. 24, 2014