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Irene R. Arnold

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By The Staff

Arnold – Irene R. Arnold, 85, died at home in Santa Fe on Jan. 3, 2008. She was born in Madison, Wis., in 1922, and raised in Mendota. After completing nurse’s training, Irene served in the U.S. Army as a nurse in the Philippine Islands at the end of World War II. After returning to the United States in 1947, Irene and her sister June, also a nurse, traveled to France and worked at the American Hospital in Paris. Returning once more to the United States, Irene earned her bachelor’s of science in nursing from the University of Wisconsin. In 1953, Irene moved to Los Alamos, where she met and married her physicist husband, George, in 1954.Irene joined the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos in 1965 and was an active member for over 40 years. She helped coordinate numerous events and assisted members in many ways. As a nature lover, Irene spent much time in the outdoors hiking, camping, gardening, and animal watching. Her love of animals extended beyond wildlife, and the family always had a well-loved dog.Irene had a deep interest in many political and social causes that she supported through volunteer work and charitable contributions. She was an active member of the Democratic party, the National Organization for Women, Amnesty International, Nuclear Freeze, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and others.Irene was a member of the Recorder Society and played with a Los Alamos group until arthritis prevented further playing. In addition to her passion for classical music, Irene loved cooking and was an excellent cook.Irene had a tough constitution, and recovered from a heart attack and triple bypass surgery, but slowly declined after suffering a series of strokes. She moved with her husband (and dog) to Santa Fe in 2002 to an assisted living facility. Irene’s full life ended naturally, peacefully and painlessly with the family nearby.She is survived by her husband of 54 years, George; son Chris Arnold and daughter-in-law Sue Eininger of Santa Fe; son Nathan Arnold of Seattle, Wash.; daughter Laura Sowko and son-in-law Nick Sowko of Albuquerque; granddaughters Theresa and Nicole Sowko of Albuquerque; sister June Jurney of Los Alamos, and nieces and nephews.A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.