April 13, 1921 - March 6, 2014
Arlene Virginia Bammer, who raised five children and devoted most of her adult life to supporting a career U.S. Army officer husband, died early Thursday in Laurel Creek Health Center in Paradise Valley Estates in Fairfield. She was 92 and, for some dozen years, had suffered the effects of Alzheimer's dementia.
Born to Walter and Agnes Matney in Topeka, Kan., Arlene was raised in rural Missouri and attended public schools there. She was elected president of her senior high school class and later attended what is now called Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., her sights set on becoming a public school teacher.
But in 1941, Arlene moved to Petaluma, where her parents lived, and settled there for a time. She and friends provided refreshments and records for a dance party at Dillon Beach, west of Tomales, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. At the party, she met Sgt. Wyndham H. Bammer, whom she married on Dec. 3, 1942, at the University of Chicago Chapel in Chicago, after he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry.
Shortly afterward, she gave birth to the first of her children, James, then Patricia, Victoria, and, in 1950, to twins Diane and Richard, while Wyndham was stationed in North Africa, Italy, stateside, and the Philippines, among other places.
Over the years, she accompanied her husband and family to Japan, Kansas, Texas, Virginia, Turkey, Pennsylvania, Germany and California. She was a homemaker; on occasion, a part-time substitute school teacher; and a volunteer in numerous social and social service organizations. Arlene was especially gifted at giving parties and took pleasure in welcoming guests into her many homes.
Wyndham preceded her in death in 2001, as did a brother, Robert Matney, in 1987.
Arlene is survived by a sister, Barbara Stoltz, who lives in the Sacramento area.
She is also survived by her children, James of Laguna Beach, Patricia Irani of Columbia, Md., Victoria Moshofsky of Fair Oaks, Diane Holmstrom, also of Fair Oaks, and Richard of Santa Rosa.
At her request, no services will be held, but her cremains will be interred next to Wyndham's, at a future date, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Arrangements are being handled by Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in Fairfield.
The Bammer family wants to thank the physicians and nurses at Laurel Creek, especially Doug Freeman and Lourdes Penamora, and the nurses of NorthBay Hospice and Bereavement.
For those who wish to do so, donations may be made to a
in Arlene V. Bammer's memory.
Published in The Reporter from Mar. 7 to Mar. 9, 2014