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Arlene Kakareka


1944 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Arlene Kakareka Obituary
On Thursday, May 16, 2019, Arlene Kakareka, zealous educator, prolific gardener, faithful sister and friend, passed away at the age of 74.

Arlene was born on Oct. 17, 1944, in Scranton, Pa., to Julius and Helen Kakareka. She was valedictorian of her Moscow (now North Pocono) High School class, and received language and teaching degrees from Marywood University. A lifelong resident of Moscow and passionate advocate for public education, she taught French and Latin at North Pocono High School for 35 years.

"Miss Kak," as her students remember her, was a teacher unlike any other, who kept a raucous classroom where the rules were scant but standards were high. She often donned elaborate costumes depicting mythological characters and encouraged students to as well. She developed the school's enrichment curriculum, which introduced its mostly rural students to world-class music and art. Her capacity to devise hilarious Latin riddles appeared infinite and her homemade "yellow dog" cookies were an anticipated favorite on field trips. She often appeared before the school board to advocate for schoolwide improvements, espousing that all students could learn and benefit from challenging material. The district's only Latin teacher, when an injury prevented her from attending school in person, she taught from her living room, via satellite. Ever-devoted to strengthening young minds, Miss Kak incited creativity and argument, and gave her students the freedom to be critical and confidently original.

Arlene also had great appreciation for nature and curated an impressive garden. She was a force for greening the borough, organizing the planting of thousands of trees and earning Moscow a "Tree City USA" designation by the Arbor Day Foundation. She gave a loving home to several pets, including beloved cat Milos and dog Phoebe. She enjoyed unique pieces of art, particularly jewelry, and created much of her own from objects she found. She was also a connoisseur of literature and music, and attended both Woodstock and Live Aid. She was a parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena in Moscow. She was an institution in the community and supported others in every way she was able. She will be known in perpetuity for her brilliant mind, her ingenuity, her clever and wry sense of humor and, most of all, her stewardship of Moscow's young people.

Arlene was preceded in death by her father and mother. She is survived by her brother, Joseph Kakareka and sister-in-law, Annette, of Fort Myers, Fla.; and countless friends, colleagues and students who carry on her indelible legacy.

A Mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 a.m. in St. Catherine of Siena Church, 220 Church St., Moscow. Interment and committal will be conducted at St. Catherine's Cemetery, Covington Twp., Pa.

Friends may call Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Duffy & Snowdon Funeral Home, 401 Church St., Moscow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Arlene to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, nationalmssociety.org.

For online condolences, please visit the funeral home's website.
Published in Scranton Times on May 20, 2019
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