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ARENA, George Of Arlington, died on Dec 1. He was surrounded by his family after a period of declining health that included: amyloidosis of the heart, multiple myeloma/cancers and kidney failure. He was 70. Beloved husband of Nancy (Iuliano) of 48 yrs. Loving father of Joseph Arena and wife Lynn of West Medford, George Arena and wife Robyn of Billerica, Richard Arena and his wife Lori of Westford, and Marie Grinnell and her companion Greg Irvine. He was loved by his 12 grandchildren and was a cherished uncle of many loving and caring nieces and nephews. He was a devoted brother to Antonio Arena and sister Antonina Mazzola. He was predeceased by his brothers Joseph, John and Salvatore. George played drums professionally since he was 16 with the Dick Madison Big Band and then later with The Peter Pann Quartet. He founded his own dance/entertainment band and played for several decades throughout New England. George owned "Mr. Richard's Beauty Salon" in Arl. for 45 years and was a cosmetology instructor for ten years at L.I.B.S. A true stalwart of the community, George was involved with St. James & St. Camillus, Town Meeting, The Sons of Italy, Chamber of Commerce and several other local organizations. His proudest accomplishment was as a founding member of the KT/DA, and he worked tirelessly on behalf of other transplant and dialysis patients, even as late as last week. He served on the National Kidney Foundation Board and received many awards for his outstanding work and his ability to inspire others with his passion for life and positive attitude. He coped with love and a keen sense of humor and touched the lives of countless people with his generous and caring ways. His example was inspirational. He lived for an unprecedented 37 years on his transplanted kidney, battled through years of different cancers and heart disease and simply loved life and his family too much to be taken by God any earlier. His faith never wavered. He drew from an inner strength, found relief in prayer, faith and family. All of this brought peace during his long and fruitful journey. He was our "Energizer Bunny". Funeral from The DeVito-O'Donnell Funeral Home 1145 Mass. Ave., Arlington on Friday morning at 8:30 AM, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00 AM in St. Camillus Church. Immediately following the mass, there will be a collation downstairs in the church. Family and friends will honor and remember George's life by gathering for calling hours Thursday from 2:00-8:00 PM at the DeVito Funeral Home in Arlington. George's wishes were to have no flowers and to donate to his favorite charities: The Kidney Transplant/Dialysis Association, Inc. P.O. Box 51362 GMF Boston, MA 02205-1362 and the Sons of Italy Scholarship Fund, 19 Prentiss Road, Arlington 02476.

Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 3, 2012
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