Arlene (Wilke) Meinholz passed away July 5, 2020 at Brookdale-Middleton Stonefield Memory Care. While dementia robbed the last few years of her life, Arlene will always be fondly remembered in the hearts of the countless individuals for whom she cared dearly. Arlene was a life-long Madisonian except for the years she lived as a newlywed in Frankfurt, Germany. She was born as a twin on March 25, 1936 to Donald and Elenor (Roettiger) Wilke. Arlene graduated from East High School. She married Cornell Meinholz on April 7, 1956 at St. Bernard Catholic Church. Shortly after marriage, Arlene joined Cornell who was stationed with the US Army in West Germany. It was there the first of their 3 children was born. Returning to Madison, Arlene worked in the UW Pathology Dept. before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Arlene provided childcare to neighborhood children, and later on to those children's children. Most of her grandchildren received her TLC in their pre-school and elementary years where her deep bonds with them took root. She loved to play games and read books with them along with keeping a tight schedule and order with her strict rules - valuable lessons learned they all carry still today. Arlene also operated C&A Ceramics for almost 25 years where she built friendships alongside her business. She enjoyed camping, card playing, artwork, knitting, gardening, snowmobiling, traveling and bicycling. For 60 years, she lived in the same home in a unique, close-knit neighborhood where cherished neighbors were like family and relished the unforgettable neighborhood picnics.
Arlene is survived by her husband of 64 years Cornell, sister Garlyn Lawson of Crandall, TX, son Jeff (Sue) of North Branch, MN, daughter Tami Wajnert (Joe) of Poynette, and son Mark (Christie) of Waunakee, grandchildren Bill Meinholz (Crystine Dai), Laura (Jeremy) Tomczak, Tyler (Hilary) Henriksen, Becky Wajnert (Tim Konkel), Spencer Wajnert, Renee Wajnert, Jacob Meinholz, Justin Meinholz, and Jayln Meinholz, 8 great grandchildren, brothers and sisters in-law and many loving nieces and nephews. Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, twin Alice Anderson and infant sister Debra.
The family is grateful for the wonderful care provided to Arlene by Brookdale-Middleton Stonefield and Agrace Hospice staff. The kindness and dignity extended to her is comforting. A private celebration of her life at a later date is planned. Memorials in Arlene's name can be made to the Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Rd., Madison, WI 53718; Brookdale-Middleton Stonefield Employee Appreciation Fund, 6701 Stonefield Rd., Middleton, WI 53562; or Agrace Hospice, 5395 E. Cheryl Pkwy, Fitchburg, WI 53711.
In life we loved you dearly. In death we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place no one else will ever fill.
As I walked out the door each morning, as a working single parent, I was so grateful for Arlene who cared for my children in my absence. I didn’t realize that she would become a part of our family until my kids started calling her "Grandma Arlene" and we were invited in for family events. Mark and Christie were especially welcoming to us. Our kids grew up together. When my girls were old enough to care for themselves and we rarely saw Arlene anymore, we still spoke fondly of her. Grandma Arlene knew almost everything about my children—they spent so much time together. Helping to raise other people's children is an experience for a lifetime, and not every day is easy. Of course, the top characteristic of Arlene as childcare provider was her genuine love of kids. Enjoying children and feeling honored to be a caregiver to them is the foundation that everything else was built on. We are deeply saddened. My sincerest condolences to Nell and the whole Meinholz family. Rest in peace Arlene. Lisa, Alanah and Rachael Halsey
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