July 12, 1937 – October 19, 2019
We lost our dear mom/sister/nanny on October 19, 2019. Arlene will be sadly missed by her family and friends, and there is a void in our lives that will never be filled. She is survived by her sister Katy Macaulay, children Beverly Webber (Danny), Wayne Matkoski (Pam), Leslie Lasota (Raymond), granddaughters Lindsay Webber, Leah Webber, Rebecca O’Connor (Sean), Kaitlyn Lasota and Jenna Matkoski.
Arlene was always known to be a positive, happy, genuine person that loved talking to people and getting to know them better. She was a trusted and safe person to share your life story with. She was the best listener, always respectful and treated everyone equally. Arlene’s door was always open for friends and family, and friends of her children were always welcome to share her home and hospitality. She always had time for you.
Arlene grew up on northern Vancouver Island in Englewood, Camp L (at the north end of Nimpkish Lake), and a brief time in Victoria as a teenager. It was at Camp L that she met Alex Matkoski, and they were married soon after. They spent nearly 40 great years in Woss. Arlene always said she had a wonderful life in Woss, making many friends there that she loved so much. She worked for several years at Woss School as a teaching assistant and at Woss pre-school to help kids with reading and other things. She truly loved helping the kids and she was very gifted at it. After Alex retired in 1995 they moved to Campbell River, and life was also good for them there. They made numerous trips to Las Vegas and around BC on bus tours, and made many friends on those trips. Arlene enjoyed painting classes in Campbell River and made more friends. She was a very talented painter.
As a sister, Arlene was definitely the best. She always looked out for me when we were growing up – at that time she was the tallest – although that didn’t last for long! We always stayed in touch throughout the years even though I lived in Hawaii and California for over 40 years. We managed to see each other almost every year, with me traveling to Canada or her and Alex coming to visit us. I moved back to Canada in 2002 and that is when I really got to know my sister. She was the type of person that you wanted to get to know better and thank goodness we had time to do that. I never heard her say a bad word about anyone, she was probably the kindest person I ever knew, and she was a friend to everyone. When I watched my sister talk to someone, they always had her full attention. That was a very special attribute of hers. She never tried to tell anyone, even her sister, what to do, but she was always there to listen intently and offer advice if it was asked for. I was so lucky to have you in my life Arlene, I will miss you terribly.
As a mother, Arlene tirelessly and selflessly cared for her family, making sure we had a healthy, safe, loving life growing up. Mom was an awesome cook and baker, making her wonderful donuts, cream puffs, peppermint fingers, butter horns, cinnamon buns and many other treats for everyone to enjoy. We have tried to duplicate her recipes, but it is not possible! She was always a busy person, cooking and cleaning (a lot of cleaning!), and loved to cycle on the Island Highway, enjoyed exercising at home and enjoyed the great outdoors. She also relaxed with reading, music, painting, sewing and other art hobbies. Arlene was definitely an “artsy” person at heart. And, like her mother, mom’s house was always spotless, she did not seem to sleep much, she was rather quirky (especially in her last 10 years!) and we were never sure how much or what she ate. But as her children we were so fortunate to have her as our mom, and were always proud to show her off to our friends!
As a Grandma/Nanny, Arlene loved all 5 of her granddaughters so very much – she could not have been prouder of them all and was so happy to hear about everything in their lives as they grew up. She was always excited to talk to her granddaughters, was a safe person to share things with and always was encouraging them and making them feel good about themselves.
Arlene sadly lost the love of her life, Alex, in 2012. She left Campbell River and moved to a condo in Comox. She loved her condo and transformed it into her own little palace for 7 years! She made some great friends at Fairway Place. Our family sincerely thanks you all for caring and looking out for Arlene. Even with a few health issues, Arlene remained happy and independent at Fairway Place until her last days with us, and for that we are all thankful.
We also offer a big thank you to Dr. Winter, who was so caring and diligent in helping Arlene with some complex medical issues. Also thank you to Dr. Sandwith and Dr. MacRae who offered a different perspective and knowledge when Dr. Winter was away. You were a great team!
Arlene always was and always will be an inspiration to her family. She demonstrated how to focus on the positive things in life, not be complainers, to work hard, be nice to everyone, be gracious and honest, and to have integrity in all aspects of your life. That was how she lived her life.
In honouring our Mom’s wishes we will not be holding a service.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to YANA (You Are Not Alone) in the Comox Valley, in Arlene’s memory.
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