Arlene Carter, 83, of Sycamore, Ill., passed away Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb. Released from a battle she could not win, she claims now by faith the victory she could not lose. Born Sept. 24, 1924, in Pinconning, Mich., she was the daughter of Murle and Lillian Mae (Licqua) Cross. Arlene grew up in Flint, Mich., where she graduated from Beecher High School. On Nov. 20, 1943, she was united in marriage to John Paul Carter. They moved to San Diego, Calif., until the end of World War II. From there they moved to Saginaw, Mich., and in 1961 when they moved to St. Charles, Arlene became head bookkeeper for the Chicago Title and Trust Co. in Geneva. Over the years she was also active in the Kane County Legal Secretaries Association. Arlene and John made their home throughout Kane and DeKalb counties until Arlene's retirement when they settled in Sycamore, where Arlene continued to live following John's death in 1997. She is survived by three children, Cathy (fiancé, John Mohnkern) Lilly of Watauga, Texas, Gary (Karen) Carter of Elburn and J. Gregory Carter of Rochelle; a grandson, (Cathy's) Matthew Lilly; a great grandson, (Matthew's) Kieran Lilly; two sisters, Margaret (Gerald) Wisniewski of Swartz Creek, Mich., and Evelyn (Cross) McLean of Mount Morris, Mich.; two brothers, Bob (Kathy) Crang of Florida and Ronald (Mary Jane) Crang of Montrose, Mich.; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Louise (Dwight) Horton of Seattle, Wash., Pearline (Kenneth) Bellant of Flushing, Mich., Wesley (Judy) Carter of Flint, Mich., and Edditha Rogers of Spring Arbor, Mich.; many cousins, nieces and nephews and their families; an aunt, Elenore Spencer of Flushing, Mich.; and two dear girl-friends, Edith Ross of Elgin, and Gladys Meyers of Longmont, Colo. She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant daughter, Karin; her husband, John; a brother, James Crang; and a brother-in-law, James Carter. Her funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, at First United Methodist Church, 321 Oak St. in DeKalb, with the Rev. Laura Crites officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in DeKalb. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. in Elburn, and from 12:30-1:15 p.m. Saturday at the church.
LIFE NOTES : A conscientious homemaker, Arlene excelled at creative home décor, and was especially fond of warm red hues. She transformed many a less than average house into a pleasant atmosphere for her family. She taught her children how to make the most out of what they had in the lean years after their move from Michigan to Illinois. She saw to their needs for social opportunities. When there were challenges or problems she encouraged looking for another approach…there was always something that could be done.
In later years she was also a collector of dolls. From Cabbage Patch to Barbies to classic porcelain dolls, her home was as full of dolls as her heart was full of love for children. In those later years she encouraged special needs children as an individual assistant in school settings. Then as a crossing guard, she faithfully shepherded little ones to and from school, rain or shine! In their Michigan years Arlene and John also raised Chihuahuas. And later, in Illinois, together enjoyed raising Collies. Any dog Arlene raised had a sweet nature. She loved Collies as much as John loved raising his horses. Arlene's other favorite things shared common qualities. She loved the animation she witnessed in the movements of angel wings at Christmas and the life in nature in birds and in butterflies through her seasons. Along with these delights was an appreciation of music boxes. Arlene loved to dance. Most of all ~ Arlene loved and appreciated each person in her family, immediate and extended, and her friends were very dear to her.