Arlene Berrett Christensen, 85, of Orem, Utah, died Friday, 23 December 2022 surrounded by loving family. She was born on 7 February 1937 to Ross Franklin and Irene Green Berrett in the little farming community of Menan, Idaho, the second of five children.
Arlene’s father was from a family of 10 brothers and 5 sisters. They were an athletic family that fielded a family baseball team and basketball team, with the sisters being the cheerleaders, the youngest brother the mascot, father the coach, and mother stitched the baseballs. She grew up around these aunts and uncles and played baseball with her brothers, cousins, and neighbors. She loved playing third base for the girls’ softball team at school and carried her love of sports through her life. She enjoyed watching BYU play basketball and football (as long as they were winning) and could name the players on each of the teams through the years.
Three days before her seventh birthday, her father passed away, with the funeral held on her birthday. This left her mother to raise her and her three brothers alone. Her mother worked at a grocery store in Menan, but it didn’t bring in much money for her family. Arlene said that her family didn’t have a lot when they were young, but that it was a happy home and that is all that mattered. She enjoyed being with her family and especially enjoyed listening to her mother sing at home and in church. The family was also looked out for by her father’s family and the community in Menan. Arlene enjoyed trips to the scenic areas in southeast Idaho and to Yellowstone with her friend’s family. Her favorite subjects in school were history and geography, which later became her most enjoyed hobby as she accumulated a library of books that included mystery, romance, and historical-fiction novels. She also always had an atlas close by that she could refer to as she read of the far-off lands that at one time may have seemed so inaccessible.
After she graduated from Rigby High School, Arlene enrolled at Ricks College and began studying nursing. Her studies included on-site training in hospitals near Idaho Falls, Idaho; Hollywood, California; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Living in Hollywood should have seemed glamorous to her, but she was mostly excited to be able to get together with the LDS students from the area who had returned home from BYU for the summer. After graduating she took a job at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and roomed with a friend in an apartment that they rented from Edward and Marie Christensen. Marie had already begun matching her with her son who was due to return from his mission in Norway. When she first saw Myron, she thought he looked nice. When he first saw Arlene, he thought he had seen an angel in a nurse’s uniform. Six months later, on August 5, 1959, they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple. Arlene continued her career as a nurse as she began raising her family.
After they moved to Provo, she took a position at Utah Valley Hospital in the newborn nursery, where she would continue off and on to maintain her license and because she loved working with the babies. The time she took off was devoted to her family, as she worked in the home to provide a happy home like she had been raised in for her seven children
Along with her love of reading, Arlene enjoyed watching sports, sewing, family history, and visiting with family and friends. She sewed clothing for her young children, quilts, and did cross-stitching. Later in life, she and Myron enjoyed traveling to many of the places she had referenced in her atlases, including Europe, Israel, Alaska, and ports in the Caribbean. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in various callings, including Relief Society Secretary, Ward Librarian, and working with the young single adults in the area. She has said that the one constant in her life was her faith. She had memories of classes once a week, Sunday meetings, and Saturdays filled with dances and movie nights. She knew that her faith was important and made sure it was always a part of her life.
Arlene is survived by her seven children, RaeAnne England (Dale) of Manson, Washington; Sherry Hancock (Larry) of Sandy, Utah; Blake Christensen (Tonya) of Lehi, Utah; Steven Christensen (Judy) of Orem, Utah; Robert Christensen (Lonna) of Spanish Fork, Utah; Jennifer Ford (James) of Mattawan, Michigan; and Kelli Gordon (Steven) of Muscatine, Iowa; her three brothers, Delwyn, Marlin, and Mark; 30 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Myron, brother Laren (who died as an infant), and her grandson Zachary Ford.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 31, 2022, at 11 a.m. at the Cherry Hill 3rd ward chapel at 1650 South 200 East, Orem, Utah. A viewing for family and friends will be held from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, prior to the services at the church. Burial will be in the Orem City Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.
For those unable to attend in person, you may view the Services HERE