Arlene Fern Kennedy was born July 27, 1935, on a very hot day to James Robert and Ruby Fern (Lovitt) Kennedy, in their home located on the head of the Stinking Water Creek which at that time had an Elsie address. She grew up in that home in the Blanche Community with her older sister Lela Marie.
She attended the one room Dist. 37 Blanche School for all grades of elementary school and went to the Blanche Rural Church where she was baptized and confirmed at the age of 14 by Bertram Arnison who served that church for 17 years.
Attending Wauneta High School, Arlene boarded with Ruby Collins the first two years, then for the last two years she shared an apartment in the upstairs of the Theobald home on the Frenchman River in east Wauneta.
Her dad usually picked her up from Wauneta on Friday afternoon, taking her home 20 miles north and then bringing her back to town for school on Monday morning.
She graduated in 1952 and then attended McCook College Summer School to get her teaching certificate. Arlene taught at the neighboring school, Hazel Dell, for two years.
On June 13, 1954, Arlene married her high school sweetheart, Marvin D. Large, at the Blanche Church. They met the first day of their freshman year as she sat right in front of him in math class.
After marriage they lived in a small mobile home at his parents’ place for nine months before moving back to her home place to live in a small three room home until their family grew large enough that they moved into the main farm house. They were blessed with five children: Joey Don, Kevin Eugene, Dean Timothy, Dale Anthony and Regina Marie.
They raised cattle, hogs, corn, wheat and alfalfa for a diversified income. Arlene raised chickens and a large garden and kept a well-stocked cellar of food to feed the growing family. They all attended the Blanche school and Blanche Church until they were merged with the Imperial school and Methodist Church.
Arlene was a farm wife who experienced moving irrigation pipe, driving the truck to market, doing field work as needed and enjoyed the farm life except when her allergies would prevent her from some activities. She knew the country roads well with many trips to Wauneta and Imperial as she was the main retriever of farm parts and repairs, and chauffeur to multiple swimming lessons, piano lessons, ball games and school activities. Very few of her children’s activities were missed.
They made the decision to build and move to Imperial in 1996 and Marvin commuted back to the farm. Arlene was always active in the social life of Blanche community and continued that in Imperial. She enjoyed all aspects of church service, serving on various committees and washing lots of dishes and making lots of meals for others.
They joined the Imperial United Methodist Church, Lions Club and were supporters of the Imperial Community Foundation and Hospital Auxiliary.
Marvin had developed the Breeding Barn to enhance his ABS Rep position and Arlene traveled with him as his AI Tech. They also enjoyed numerous trips delivering barns over the greater part of the United States and even made a trip to Australia where they visited two ranches using barns built from plans that Marvin had developed.
Arlene thoroughly enjoyed her large extended family. Her home in Imperial was specifically designed to allow family gatherings. The family experienced together many holidays, family reunions, graduations, weddings, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. Family, friends, and strangers were all graciously accepted and well fed in her home. She will be much missed.
Arlene passed away early Thursday morning, June 29, 2017, at her home in Imperial, surrounded by her family. She was 81 years of age.
Arlene was preceded in death by her parents James Robert and Ruby Fern Kennedy and daughter-in-law Sylvia.
Survivors include husband Marvin of Imperial; sons Joey (Myra) Large of Wauneta, Kevin (Sandra) Large of Hayes Center, Dean (Janice) Large of Wauneta, Dale (Elisa) Large of Imperial, daughter Regina (Stuart) Pederson of Burrton, Kan.; 18 grandchildren: Andrea Richards (Kip), Stacy Schleusener (Mark), Ryan Large (fiance Odessa), Lichelle Barr (Lance), Joslyn Nelson (Jake), Halsie Large, Kerbie Large, Krystal Einspahr (Nathan), Greg Large (Courtney), Megan White (fiance James), Alisha Wood (Jay), Kimberly Large, Samantha Large, Mira Moore, Rachel Cheek (John), Rebecca Hofer (Roman), Stephen Pederson (Kelsey) and Silas Pederson (Micah); 24 great-grandchildren: Keenan, Hayley, Sadie, Aubrey, Levi, Tinley, Haken, Kooper, Knox, Kennedy, Brittny, Gregg, Braxton, Gentry, Carter, Dominic, Julian, Jessie, Kairi, Tobin, Isaiah, Mirriam, Hadassah, and Elijah; sister Lela Marie Hamilton of Wauneta; brother-in-law Leroy (Charlotte) Large of Lincoln; sisters-in-law Iris Large of Imperial and Peggy (Bernard) Christner of Rapid City, S.D.
Funeral services were held Monday morning, July 3, 2017, 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Imperial, with Pastor Dirk Weiss officiating. Interment followed at the Riverside Cemetery, Wauneta.
Visitation was held Sunday, July 2, 2 to 5 p.m. at the funeral home in Imperial.
Online condolences may be left at liewerfuneralhome.com.
Liewer Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements