Aug. 15, 1932-Sept. 16, 2023
Portola Valley, California
Marlene Cummings Arnold, 91, of Portola Valley, passed away on September 16, 2023.
Marlene was born in Brainerd, Minnesota, to Francis and Oveline Cummings on August 15, 1932. She attended St. Francis Elementary School and Brainerd High School. Following high school, she attended the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, where she received her BS in Nursing in 1954.
After graduation, Marlene worked as a nurse in Brainerd, Denver, California, and at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. She earned her Master’s Degree in nursing from UCSF in 1968. Marlene then taught nursing and was an academic counselor at the College of San Mateo for 29 years.
She met her husband John Arnold on a backpacking trip in the Sierras; and they were married on August 3, 1974. She and John lived in Menlo Park until moving to The Sequoias in Portola Valley in 2019.
In addition to teaching nursing, Marlene was a member of the Thomas Merton Center of Palo Alto and active in its ministry. She also volunteered cuddling infants at Packard Children’s Hospital and volunteered as a school nurse at St. Elizabeth Seton School.
Marlene loved flowers and greatly enjoyed gardening and making floral arrangements. She also continued back-packing in summers and travelling to Cedar Lake in Aitkin, Minnesota. After retirement, she and John enjoyed traveling to various countries.
She is survived by her husband John, niece Andrea (Richard), nephew Steve (Bill), and niece Carmen (Bobby), three great-nephews, a great-niece, and several cousins.
Memorial mass will be offered at St. Thomas Aquinas in Palo Alto on Saturday Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. Burial will be at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. Arrangements by Spangler Mortuaries in Los Altos.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Concern America, Doctors Without Borders, or a charity of your choice.