On Saturday, August 1, 2020, age 94, Arlene was gathered into the loving arms of Jesus, is now at peace, surrounded by love and is reunited with her husband, William. Devoted mother of Allyn (Chris) Saah, Sherry (Steve) Downs, Gregory (Eri) Heck. Kind hearted grandma of Brent Downs, Anna (Dayne) Lukes, Karen (James) Christian, Andrew Saah, Myles (Nina) Heck, and Jessica Heck. Great grandma of Myra, Sophie, and Tor Christian. Sister of Shirley Stoll. Further survived by numerous loving nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her sister, Lillian Swinburne.
Arlene Helen Braue was a “surprise baby” when she arrived on Dec. 11th, 1925. She was a home delivery on the family farm, delivered by Dr. Boots in the town of Lewiston, WI. Her parents were all about education, and often they were the ones that boarded the teachers for the one room school that Arlene attended. As a teenager, Arlene worked for her room and board and lived in the town of Portage while she attended high school. After high school, Arlene moved to Madison, where she worked six years as a secretary for the Wisconsin Conservation Dept. She also took a correspondence course with the Sherwood Music School. During this time, she attended a dance where she met William Heck who she would eventually marry. The newlyweds started their new life in Marietta Georgia, where they added daughter Allyn to their family. A second daughter, Sherry, soon followed. A subsequent job transfer for Bill resulted in a permanent move to Omaha NE where brother Greg’s arrival completed the family. Arlene taught music students part-time, while diving fulltime into motherhood, providing many artistic experiences for her children that included piano instruction, art classes and ballet lessons for the girls. She also worked for a time as docent for the Willa Cather exhibit at the Joslyn Art Museum. Arlene was a lifelong student of the Bible, taking multiple notes and reflections on her studies. Her faith was the driving and sustaining force of her solitary years after Bill’s passing, when she lived by herself in their Omaha residence. She celebrated her 90th birthday still mowing her own yard! When it became obvious that Arlene could no longer manage on her own, she spent her last four years in Elm Grove, WI, which proved to be a wonderful blessing, ending her isolation and enabling an outpouring of love and affection from her children, sister, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Krause Funeral Home, 21600 West Capitol Drive, Brookfield, Wisconsin, on Saturday, August 8, 2020, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM. Funeral Service at 4:00 PM.