Arlene Stamm of Noank, CT, passed away on July 18 at the Pendleton Health and Rehabilitation Center in Mystic after a prolonged battle with dementia. She was 81.
She was born in Hoboken, NJ and grew up in nearby Union City. While attending the College of St. Elizabeth and working at Stevens Institute of Technology, she met her husband Jack on a Circle Line Cruise of New York for Stevens employees. Across 57 years of marriage, they raised a family in Cambridge, MA, Ann Arbor, MI and Sherborn, MA, before retiring to Noank in 2000.
Hers was a life dedicated to discourse, and often debate. To every podium, microphone, easel, dinner table, or neighbor’s door, Arlene brought her ready wit, fearless opinions, and fierce concern for others
She began work in and around government in the 1970s serving on several town committees in Sherborn. She then worked for years with the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, eventually serving as Vice President of Communications and then as the organization’s President in the 80s. Representing an organization dedicated to discussion and voter engagement, Arlene the dynamo was unleashed, patrolling the State House halls, moderating gubernatorial debates, and analyzing legislation on radio and tv.
The conversations moved from the State House to the studio in the 90s when Arlene studied at the Ingbretson Atelier in Framingham, MA., a group of painters who became an artistic family. In Connecticut, after taking classes at Lyme Academy, Arlene helped organize the Noank Art Show and exhibited her own work around Southeastern Connecticut.
She also brought her vigor and wit to the Noank Baptist Church’s Mystic River Congregate House, where she volunteered and served on the board, before years later joining the church’s loving congregation.
And in her final years, she came to rely on that congregation, indeed on all of Noank. Her need to engage, to be in the conversation, never waned, and the neighbors who stopped to chat with Arlene on her many daily walks became a necessary part of her life. Arlene’s elder care truly took a village; To Noank, and to the thoughtful caregivers and her roommate, Frances, at Pendleton, her family will be forever grateful.
Arlene is predeceased by her parents, Emil and Nora Balzerini, and her brother, Peter Balzerini. She is survived by her husband Jack; her children John, Kevin, and Jennifer; daughter-in-law Sophia Lazarides; her grandchildren Georgia, Mathaios, and Anastasia, and several nieces and nephews. She will be missed by all.
The family is planning a memorial for Arlene in the fall.