Arlene Marmer
Arlene Marmer
  • May 30, 1934 - August 15, 2017
  • West Hills, California

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Arlene Marmer, whose maiden name was Dolgin, was born May 30, 1934 at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, IL. Her parents, Harry Dolgin (1905-1985) and Fannie Modell were born and raised Jewish in the Ukraine (Russia). Harry and Fannie Dolgin are buried in Menorah Gardens, Broadview, IL. Arlene lived her early years in a practicing Jewish household in Skokie, IL with her brother, Maurice "Maury"Dolgin and her sister Ruth. Although both her parents escaped the holocaust most of her family remaining in the Ukrainian borderland countries did not escape. The family's oral history relates of a pogrom (religious persecution), forcing her father's emigration to Argentina, before arriving in the U.S. where he met his future wife.
Arlene attended Jewish sponsored recreational functions in the Chicago area as early as the Korean War, for instance at a local Jewish Community Center (JCC), at which she first met Floyd Smoller. Military service had brought Floyd to the Chicago area. Floyd was also born and raised Jewish in Los Angeles, CA. Floyd and Arlene married June 28, 1953 in Chicago. Arlene is survived by her two children, Jeffrey "Jeff" Allen Smoller and Karyn "Kari" Lee Smoller. Arlene and Floyd raised their two children in Judaism.
In 1972, Arlene divorced Floyd and shortly thereafter returned to Chicago to be with her immediate family; making her own career in several administrative support positions. On August 24, 1988, she married Daniel "Danny" Marmer, a Jewish small business owner in the Chicago area. Arlene and Danny divorced in June 2000. About the time of her second marriage, her brother Maury contracted a debilitating neurological disease in which Arlene would visit his wheel chair and bed side to provide meals, companionship, and loving care until his death in the 1990s. Arlene maintained a positive relationship with Maury's spouse, her sister-in-law Marcie, during her brother's long physical decline.
Because of her tight-knit communities of family, friends, and acquaintances in both Chicago and Los Angeles, Arlene was invited to return to the Los Angeles area as a companion for long-time friend around 2011. Although the relationship did not last, it allowed Arlene to sell her Chicago-area condominium and retire from her part-time position with a regional beverage company. Many of Arlene's friends will note with a wry smile her gracious and insistent entertaining which may have been enhanced during her time spent promoting social beverages at the Osco-Jewel about Chicago.
Once back in the San Fernando Valley, Arlene began attending the Beit Hamidrash Synagogue and participated in several Jewish social and cultural activities. True to her compassionate, loving, and giving nature she made friends and contributed to the Pioneering Women's group, Na Amat and the Shalom Senior Group. She corresponded, visited, and otherwise provided support to the ill or incapacitated group members. She greatly enjoyed the Friday entertainers singing, and joking with the members.
Arlene suffered an injury to her lower body caused by the paralyzing stroke, the afternoon of June 11, 2017. The injury never healed in the weeks that Arlene had left of life. The stroke left Arlene able to speak for the first few weeks. However, her attendant family and visiting friends noticed that she seemed to be fading after being transferred to a skilled nursing facility closer to her friends. Medical staff at this facility honored Arlene's wishes articulated in her will and advocated by her children, which culminated in a physician's order planning for end-of-life without life sustaining treatments. Arlene died peacefully in her sleep on August 15, 2017 at the West Valley rehabilitation and nursing facility in West Hills, CA.
Arlene now returns to Chicago, to be near her beloved family for burial in Shalom Memorial Park (Palatine, IL). A plaque in that cemetery commemorates her socially active and rewarding life. May all thanks to God and blessings from God for that life of 83 years be honored and remembered. Amen.