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Signe Arick

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Signe ARICK Signe Arick passed away February 10, 2011, at Northwest Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She had turned 90 on July 19. Though she was challenged by vision and health problems- and deeply saddened by the death of her sister Hilda Guldseth in 2007 - her last years were marked by many joys and pleasures. Signe was a long-time member of Gift of Grace Lutheran Church. She loved the church music, communion, and the devotional group that often met at her home. Before macular degeneration curtailed reading, Signe taught Bible Study at the church, and she enjoyed making quilts with other church women for Lutheran World Relief. A lifelong reader and a lifelong learner, Signe replaced reading with audio books from the Washington State Talking Book and Braille Library. Her favorite was Alexander McColl Smith and his Number One Ladies' Detective Agency books. She loved NPR and the Diane Roehm Show, as well as Prairie Home Companion. Signe was born on a dryland farm south of Malta, Montana to Norwegian homesteaders. Their community was peopled by hard-working Lutherans who had been drawn to the harsh prairie by Railroad Company promises of bounteous new beginnings. After eight years in a one-room school, Signe attended high school in town, paying her expenses with a bookkeepingjob which also provided some money to keep the farm going during the Depression. She graduated class Valedictorian. Soon after, while working in Malta, she met a handsome stranger from Cristobal, CZ. Signe married Alexander D. Arick in 1940, in Panama. They lived in the Canal Zone and Costa Rica until Alexander felt the need to serve his country in WWII. In 1952, he was killed in Korea, leaving Signe with two young children. The little family lived in the Lutheran community of Parkland near Tacoma in the fifties and sixties and was active in the Trinity Lutheran congregation. Signe was a secretary at McChord AFC, principally in the flight clinic. While working, she earned her BA from UPS, and then her MA from PLU at the age of 60. On retirement in 1986, Signe moved into the Wallingford home of her sister, Hilda. They enjoyed many adventures, flying to Hawaii and rambling across Washington and Montana to visit friends and the family farm. They also visited family and friends in Sequim, Aberdeen and the Seattle area. They were thrilled to attend a large family reunion in Minnesota and meet many members of their mother's family for the first time. Another highlight was their Norway trip to see family and old family farms. Signe delighted in meeting new people and the children that came into her life. She had vast collections of memorized poetry, jokes, and butterfly brooches. Signe loved listening to the Mariners, especially when she shared the experience with her sister. Last fall her garden was a miracle of sweet corn, beets and tomatoes. From organic gardening techniques learned from books on tape, she supervised the planting of potatoes and selected flowering plants that her family hoped she would enjoy this summer. In October her health declined sharply. Her son, Michael, had come from California to stay with her in spring and she very much enjoyed his company and his sense of humor. When her health failed, he worked tirelessly during her last months to help restore her comfort. She finally succumbed to an aortic aneurysm. Signe Arick was preceded in death by beloved husband, Alexander, parents, Marit and Joseph Guldseth, brother, Jennings Guldseth, and sister, Hilda Guldseth. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Alexis and Harvey Greenberg, of Seattle, and son Michael Arick of Santa Barbara. She also leaves behind her twenty-year-old cat Missy. Signe was blessed with dear friends in Montana and Seattle and Tacoma who remembered her with their calls, cards and prayers until the end. Signe's ashes will be buried in the grave of Alexander Arick at Fort Lewis Cemetery. She has asked that a memorial service also be celebrated at Gift of Grace Church on Fortieth and Meridian in Wallingford. Memorial gifts or tributes can be made to Gift of Grace. Vi elsker deg, Signe, and we miss you. A memorial will be held in the spring. The time will be announced in this paper.
Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27, 2011
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