Arlene Ann Bershof, a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, and a talented artist and teacher, died peacefully in her home on July 30, 2013. She was 86.
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Arlene was born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, to Sam and Minnie Fox.
She lived in Brooklyn until she was 16. In 1942 she moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, where she attended UCLA. In 1945 she met Dr. Edward Bershof - Eddie - and they fell deeply in love and married immediately, settling in Denver; it was a marriage that lasted 56 years until Eddie's death in 2001.
Arlene was a devoted mother who gave birth to five beautiful children. As she cared for her young children, she also enrolled in classes to complete her Bachelor of Arts, obtain a teaching certificate, and then two Master's Degrees - one in education, and finally a Master of Art History from the University of Denver in 1972. At a time when many women did not work outside the home, Arlene taught art at George Washington High School from 1966 to 1986, where she was adored by her students and colleagues and inspired a generation of students and touched the lives of many.
Arlene was a scholar of art history and a talented painter who constructed large-frame oil paintings until the very end of her life. She was inspired by the Japanese artist Harunobu, as well as Georgia O'Keefe, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo. Her early work was influenced by such art movements as Impressionism, Modernism, and Fauvism, and in particular the artists Henri Matisse and Gustav Klimt. Many of her later paintings featured spacious scenes of Japanese women in kimonos of ornate patterns and vivid color.
Arlene's life was full and busy and overflowed with love and friendship, and those themes manifested in her art in scenes of simple daily activities, such as bathing and hair brushing.
After she retired from her career as a teacher, Arlene spent joyful years with her beloved Eddie traveling around the world to locations such as Hawaii, Mexico, France, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Russia, and China. She also loved to play bridge with her dear friends, and she was passionate about politics.
Arlene is survived by a brother, Harry Fox of Los Angeles, and five children, Jim Bershof (Shelley) of Denver, Pegi Touff (Michael) of Denver, Nancee Bershof (late Leonard Kramer) of Greenfield, Mass., Judy Bershof of Denver, and John Bershof (Susan Strasburg) of Denver. She adored her eight grandchildren, Scott and Sam Bershof, Daniel and Katherine Touff, Avi and Mattea Kramer, and Estee and Eva Bershof. She also leaves behind her beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Willie.
Published in The Recorder on July 31, 2013