Ida Arlene Rustand, who passed on April 14, 2020, was born at home in Blaine 85 years ago, on Oct. 17, 1934. Enes and Oscar Rustand were excited to welcome their fourth daughter. Eventually, five more siblings (brothers!) were welcomed to the family. They enjoyed farm life on Sunrise Road and attended Lynden schools.
Arlene married Gordon Medcalf, and they were blessed with three boys and two girls: Don, Rick, David, Cheryl and Julie. Cheryl passed away in May 2012.
Arlene was blessed with seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters, Rose and Milly, brother Art and his wife Lois, and sister-in-law Carolyn.
Arlene and her young family spent their early years in Lynden, then moved to Oahu where they had a business, Island Coin and Stamp, at Ala Moana center in Honolulu. They enjoyed a nice home and years of great memories in Kailua, developing a deep and enduring love of the Hawaiian Islands. Arlene and Gordon also enjoyed a very memorable six-week trip to Europe. The next chapter of her story took Arlene and the family to the Virgin Islands where they lived on St. Thomas for a couple of years before moving back to the Pacific Northwest and finally locating in Vancouver, B.C.
Arlene became a permanent resident of Canada and spent the remainder of her years, first in Richmond and then in Vancouver. Her last ten years included the adventure and challenge of dialysis three times a week. She was very proud of the way she handled this lifestyle twist with strength and determination — not an easy journey, but she managed it gracefully and never gave up. “Arlene, you were an inspiration to us all, and we are so very proud of you!”
She remained as active as possible, connected, and committed to her church and faith. Special thanks go to the Kerrisdale Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, for their love and kindness helping Arlene always, especially as things got a little more difficult near the end. And we extend a huge thanks to Rae, Kim, Paul, Glenn and her many other friends in the community where she lived. Arlene loved you all and we, as her family, want you to know how much we appreciated your care and shared love over the years.
In her sweet, thoughtful way, Arlene never forgot to make Christmas cookies for everyone! She kept our family together and loved hosting holidays and family gatherings in her home. She was so proud of her grandchildren and family. We are all blessed to have such wonderful memories of our time together.
“We miss you so much, Mom, but are happy for your promotion. You made it to your heavenly home, pain-free and full of joy!”
Arlene is resting in peace at Greenacres Memorial Park of Ferndale. Interment was on Thursday, April 23. We look forward to a Celebration of Life with family and friends later this year when travel and gathering become a bit easier.
II Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”