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Arlene Louise Crandall

Arlene CRANDALL "Army Issue" Arlene Louise Crandall, 74, of Manchester, WA passed away peacefully on November 2, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer. Arlene was born February 7, 1936 in Auburn, WA to Robert and Agnes Shaffer. An only child she grew up in the Shaffer family homes on Scenic Hill in Kent surrounded by a large and loving family. She had many uncles and aunts and was the oldest of 17 cousins. Her father and her brothers owned Shaffer Brothers Feed Store which later became Kent Station. Her beloved Aunt Janet, who was closer to her own age and more like a sister to her, passed away within minutes of her own passing. It is no surprise that the two of them are on yet another adventure together. Arlene attended Valley Elementary School and Kent Junior High and was in the first class to graduate from the new Kent Meridian High School. She was one of the 'gang of 13,' friends who remained close throughout their lives. During high school she was an Honor Roll student, editor of the school yearbook, and majorette for the marching band. She attended Washington State University and was always the proud Cougar in a house full of Huskies. Her family had a beach house in Des Moines where she met a lady named Dorothy Crandall who owned a small restaurant and store and who would tell Arlene stories about her son Bruce who was in the Army. Of course, the rest is history. Arlene and Bruce were married on March 31, 1956. Over the next 54 years they would travel the world living in 53 homes including Tripoli, Libya; Canal Zone, Panama; San Jose, Costa Rica; Bangkok, Thailand; and Caracas, Venezuela. They had three sons, Robert Donovan, Steven Bruce, and Michael David. Arlene was a career Army wife who was known for her caring and generosity in helping new military spouses adjust to the demands of Army life. She raised three young boys while her husband served two tours of duty in Vietnam. One of the proudest moments of her life was on February 26, 2007 when her husband, Col. Bruce Crandall (ret.) was awarded the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush. In spite of this recognition, Arlene always seemed to outrank him. She was made an honorary General by the U.S. Army and an honorary Admiral by the U.S. Navy. She was awarded the Order of St. Joan D'Arc by the US Cavalry and Armory Association and the Honorable Order of Our Lady of Loreto by the Army Aviation Association. She is survived by her loving husband, Bruce, and her children, Donovan (and Odila), Steve (and Brian), and Mike (and Jerri) as well as grandchildren Andrew, Luke, Rebekah, Jessica, and Bruce II. Arlene will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery with her husband at some future date. A private wake will be held on December 4, 2010 at the family home in Manchester, WA. Memorial donations may be made to the Ia Drang Valley Scholarship Fund c/o Executive Director, 1st CAV Division Association, 302 North Main, Copperas Cove, TX 76522-1799. 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' ~ Milton
Published in The Seattle Times on Nov. 28, 2010
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