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Life Story / Obituary
Arline (Stoneburner) Wallace was a strong, selfless, loving woman. She devoted her energy, her time, her resources, her skills, and especially her love, to others. She was relentless in her pursuit of helping others. She spent time daily in prayer and bible reading and devotions. Arline was a woman of faith who believed and relied upon her Heavenly Father to provide her the strength and ability to help and comfort. She was a beautiful example of God’s grace and mercy to those who knew her or had the pleasure to be around her. Her actions came from her heart.
On February 23, 1930, Arline Dorris Stoneburner was born at home on the family farm. Arline was born the seventh child of thirteen to Clinton John Stoneburner and Ruth Marian (Kaylor) Stoneburner.
The family lived, worked, played and learned about life and love while growing up in Alamo Township. Arline’s young years were full of family and farm life. Responsibility, work ethic, integrity and love were taught at home to the Stoneburnerchildren.
When she was old enough to go to school, she sat and learned in the same one-room schoolhouse (Tamarack School) where her sisters and brothers sat to learn their school lessons.
Clinton and Ruth worked hard to raise and provide for their children, while they worked the crops and animals on their dairy farm.
The Great Depression era was a hard time for most Americans. The Stoneburners were no exception. The hardworking parents provided all they could, and the children were expected to pitch in and help with family duties and chores. Arline’s mother would make the food stretch to ensure that they had what was needed to nourish their large family. Arline said that she did not feel they were poor when they were children as they were just like everyone else in their community.
Some of Arline’s special childhood memories included the times that it would be her turn to accompany her father and mother on a trip to town after her father would receive his paycheck. This was when they would purchase any necessary items that they could not source, raise, grow or make on their farm. Clinton would bring home a special treat for all to share from town – sometimes a half-bushel of oranges, a bag of donuts, or some candy.
The first people that Arline loved were her parents and her brothers and sisters. She felt closely connected to her siblings and the bonds and love grew stronger between them over the years.
Arline graduated from Otsego High School in 1948. She got her first job at Grant’s Department Store and later worked at Sutherland’s Paper Company.
Elmo Wallace from Parchment was a friend of Arline’s brothers. Elmo visited his friends at the Stoneburner homesite and there he met Arline. Elmo went to Korea to serve in the war as a Military Police Officer. A short time after returning to the States, Elmo and Arline were married at a small ceremony by the Justice of the Peace on July 11,1953.
They moved into the house they had purchased on Random Road. Arline said that the house did not seem so small at that time!
Before Mo and Arline had a phone, it was not unusual for a few friends or relatives to drop in on Saturday nights – often it was one or two of Arline’s brothers and their girlfriends. They would spend those evenings playing cards, laughing and enjoying each others’ company, and snacking on bowls of popcorn that Arline served with pop.
Mo and Arline started a family. First came Nancy, then Patricia, Marilyn and Robert. Arline stayed at home to raise their children and to serve God, her husband, her family and friends. Mo worked at Checker Motors to support the family.
The family attended and became members of Trinity Baptist Church. Both Mo and Arline played active roles at the church. Arline taught Sunday school classes, helped with church potlucks and programs and events. When there were flowers in bloom in their yard, Arline would go outside before church and gather large bouquets of lilacs, tulips and irises for the church sanctuary.
In 1963, Elmo and Arline bought a summer cottage on Crooked Lake in Delton. From that time on, the Wallace family spent most every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year at the cottage. The family enjoyed fishing, swimming,rowing the boat, watching the life around the lake. There were card games and games of RACKO and checkers in the evenings and bonfires on the beach. The children fell asleep to the familiar sound of the sports announcers on the radio giving a play-by-play of the Detroit Tigers baseball games.
There was no phone at the cottage. The family loved the surprise of guests showing up at the lake to visit, especially the aunts, uncles and cousins. Arline was always ready to prepare and lay out a spread of food for lunch or dinner. She was a wonderful hostess.
Arline learned to make homemade noodles from her mother. These were always a favorite food for Mo and their children. Arline made the best pie crust and filled them with fresh fruit, such as rhubarb from her yard, or blueberries she had picked.
Arline coordinated the shopping, meals, household, clothing, medical, and daily schedules for the family. She had to be very thrifty, just as she had learned as a child from her parents. She watched for sales, used coupons, and made family meals from scratch. She would stretch her small budget by preparing meals that included fresh vegetables that they grew, and she canned or froze anything that was extra to be available when needed. She cooked and cleaned and raised their family with love and devotion. She sewed clothes and knitted mittens, hats, scarves and slippers for her family. She loved to look through recipe cards and books for new ideas to try and always had fresh baked goods for her family and friends.
As the kids grew, there were occasional trips. Family trips tookthem to Oklahoma, California, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Nashville. Elmo would drive and Arline had picnic meals ready in the ice chest for rest breaks and stops along the journey at attractions large and small. Elmo would rarely share the vacation plan with Arline until a day or so before it would begin, so Arline would rush to get everything and everyone ready on short notice. Elmo loved taking his family on an adventure to visit new places and to see different parts of the country. Arline supported her husband and children. It was Arline who thought through so many of the necessary details and made the preparations for special or ordinary events and outings.
Arline’s first priorities were her faith, her family and her friends. After their girls were grown, Arline began working for Kalamazoo Public Schools as a lunchroom assistant at Spring Valley Elementary School. It was another opportunity for Arline to use her polished skillset to serve and care for others. She retired from her position at KPSD and we can only imagine the lives that she touched in her genuine, caring way while she worked there.
Mo and Arline were blessed with 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, who each adored their grandma and grandpa Wallace. Special times were celebrated at grandma and grandpa’s home – like the annual Easter celebration and egghuntfor the kids in the backyard.
Arline and Elmo continued to enjoy time spent at the lake and fishing. They took several trips to Las Vegas to enjoy family time there.
Mo enjoyed hunting and bowling. Arline crocheted her kitchen scrubbies and dishcloths to give away. She continued baking and taking care of her growing family. She sent many cards over the years to friends and family to show her care for her loved ones. Mo and Arline both loved to fish and would work together to scale and filet their catch. Arline fried the bluegills, bass and perch in the old cast-iron skillet, or froze them for a delicious wintertime dinner.
Besides Arline’s family, she treasured very special friendships that lasted throughout the years. Arline dearly missed her friends and family members that passed before her and she held close her memories of times shared with those loved ones.
Toward the end of Mo’s earthly journey, increasing care and assistance was required to honor his desire to remain at home with his family. Arline was faithfully committed to Mo’s care and well being. Without concern for herself, she continued to give one hundred percent of herself through his last day.
Proverbs 31: 10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goethnot out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.