WILLIAMSBURG — Arlene Louella Belanger, of Williamsburg, went home to God on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at the age of 84.
Arlene was born on July 21, 1929, in Mancelona, the daughter of Oney and Freida Lanning. At a very early age she developed a passion for music. Besides playing many instruments, she would sing and dance, accompanied by her brothers and sisters.
In 1951 she married Donald R. Belanger after a long courtship. With the birth of their children it wasn’t long until the family had increased to six. Her love of music carried over to her family life as it did in childhood, and she in turn passed that talent on to her children.
Then, after nearly 20 years, Arlene returned to work as an aide at Grand Traverse County Medical Care Facility, a facility where she would later spend 25 years as a volunteer, singing to the patients and playing her guitar. As years went by her music even spread to the Senior Center in Kalkaska, where she became a “regular.” Our family is assured that whenever they sing “Angels We Have Heard on High,” they are singing about Arlene.
She will be greatly missed and long remembered by her surviving children, Dan Belanger, Lorrie (David) Grof and Jeff (Amy) Belanger; five grandchildren, Luke and Emily Grof, Rueben, Amos and Joe Belanger; as well as her loving and faithful companion to the end, Don Maylone; and her longtime family friends and caregivers, Beatrice Bates and Peggy Quast.
Besides her husband, Arlene was preceded in death by her son, Joe; brothers, Ward Lanning, Lyle Lanning and Wayne Lanning; and sisters, Dana Burmester, Leota Spitza, Hazel Hansen, Ethel Rewald and Joyce Long.
We are grateful to the many helpful and compassionate friends, church family and medical staff who assisted Arlene during her last days. The family would especially like to thank Dr. Sarah Roth, her assistant, Deb Moore, Arlene’s home health care nurse, Cathy Swanson, and Father Norm Dixon for their guidance and love in mom’s journey “home.”