Arlene Velva Bucher Diamond (nee Stucky), 86 years young, a resident of Apex, North Carolina, died Friday, May 7, 2021, at the Transitions Life Care Hospice Home in Raleigh, N.C., with her husband,Thom and family and friends by her side. She fought valiantly for three and a half years against Non-Smoker’s Lung Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. However, the last four months of her life were a very tough struggle for her. Born on January 28, 1935 in Mantorville, Minnesota, she was the second child of her parents, Lyman Walter Stucky (Born December 22, 1910 – Died August 12, 1982) and Helen Louise Stucky (nee Hopkins) (Born May 27, 1912 – Died December 30, 2006). Her older brother, Robert “Bob” Duane Stucky, (Born December 11, 1932 - Died February 17, 2016) was her only sibling.
She liked to tell the story, that when her mother was about seven months pregnant with Arlene, that she went to get the doctor for Arlene’s dad, Lyman, who was ill. In those days, doctors made house calls and it was also common for babies to be born at home, with or without a doctor present! Her mom slipped and fell on her way to get the doctor, as it was snowy and icy outside. The fall caused Arlene to be born early and at home. Arlene likes to remember, that her dad said, that he took one look at her and wanted to jump out the window at this unfinished infant! When Arlene was about nine months old, her family moved to Southern California, where she lived until just after her 76 th birthday.
Arlene has many cousins living in Minnesota. She visited them a few times over the years and were treated warmly with their generosity and love!
At age 17, she graduated from Monrovia, Arcadia & Duarte High School (Yes, MAD High School!) in 1952. High school friends, Margie Cadman, Arlene Munsell, Arlene Prosser and Joanne Wardlow became life-long friends, still meeting for lunch in recent years when Arlene & Thom traveled to California. Amazingly, all three Arlene’s in this group were born in January. All Arlene wanted out of life was to be a full-time mother and homemaker, but circumstances changed the path that her life would take. In the 1960’s Arlene was forced to enter the work force to support her three young children and herself. Her first job was as an inspector at Anja Engineering in Monrovia, CA, a manufacturer of ball point pens. She would reminisce that while being interviewed for that job, the interviewer decided that because both of Arlene’s parents were in supervisory roles in their jobs, that she should start as an inspector. Even though she knew nothing about inspecting pens! She next worked
at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where her supervisor in the print shop, was Dennis Cutler. After about seven years at Caltech, Dennis, who had previously left to accept a job at Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall (DMJM), a professional architecture firm in Los Angeles, convinced Arlene to join him in the print shop at DMJM. This turned out to be a great decision and a very fulfilling career choice for Arlene. She worked at DMJM, as a Bindery Operations Coordinator, for 25 years, retiring in 2004. There she met many wonderful people and made many friends, some to be life-long friends. One of her biggest challenges while working there: DMJM coordinated a worldwide contractor outreach for Caltrans. It turned out to be 11,000 pounds of paper! They did 800 copies of two different sized volumes – 1,600 copies altogether. It required a lot of faith in herself and her capabilities. She remained friends, until her death, with DMJM coworkers, Renee Bronson, Lisa Ogas, Dennis Cutler, Crescent Wells, Deon Lambrecht and others.
Arlene was the proud mother of, and is survived by, James “Butch” (Anita) Bucher of Glendora, CA, Michael Bucher of Blue Jay, CA and Cheryl (Tom) Whittey of Beaumont, CA. She was the “Bonus” Mom to Paddy & Kimmy Diamond of Knightdale, NC, Lynn (Diamond) & Dan Clifford of Apex, NC and Albert & Debbie Villescas of West Covina, CA. She was the grandmother and great-grandmother to many wonderful children and happy to tell you that she had six, soon-to-be seven great great- grandchildren!
In addition, Arlene is survived by the love of her life, her husband, Thomas R. (Thom) Diamond, whom she married on July 12, 2012.
In February, 2011, they drove from California to the East Coast to start a new chapter of their lives together in North Carolina. Arlene loved living in NC, and was always in awe of the greenery and beautiful flowers and trees there. It didn’t take her long to make friends in the Avalon Peaks apartment complex where she lived. And soon she was part of a group of very devoted and loving friends who often went to lunch and dinner together. She loved the comradery of these friends. For several years, prior to her cancer diagnosis, Arlene hosted a Christmas Open House, where she served up delicious food for her many friends! She also loved decorating her home for all the different holidays throughout the year.
Arlene loved visiting Thom’s family in and around Baldwinsville, New York, a suburb of Syracuse. They always showed her a good time and shared many wonderful meals together!
Arlene was a most caring and loving person. She was there to help friends when they needed her help, even in times of terrible tragedies. She was a shining example of showing love, respect and dignity to others. She loved being around little children and especially babies. She always tried to be at the birth of all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was also there with several friends when they gave birth. This meant many, many hospital trips for Arlene!!! EVERY time that a new baby was born, Arlene would ALWAYS say, with excitement, “Isn’t that the MOST beautiful baby EVER!!!”
She forged strong and lasting friendships, including, but not limited to, several friends she made while commuting on the bus to Los Angeles and back each day. Most days Arlene was busy crocheting baby blankets while riding the bus to work. She gave away many blankets over the years and would often hear from friends, years later, that their college age kids were taking their blanket to college with them! She also taught a few people how to crochet while on their bus commute. Some of her “Bus” friends were Saundra Protin, Vivian Powers, Angie Bai and Rosemary Garay.
Arlene loved going to In-N-Out Burgers, King Taco, La Tolteca and P.F. Chang’s for lunch and dinners.
Arlene & Thom loved traveling together: New York City, Niagara Falls, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Nevada, Arizona, and many locations in Southern California were visited by them.
Arlene had a very strong faith, praying daily for everyone struggling, that they feel God’s comfort and peace and be surrounded by his love, strength and hope. Every day she asked God, to bless all of her family and friends who need a miracle, to strengthen all who are weak, lighten those who carry heavy burdens and to guide her grandkids away from harm and help them live wonderful lives! (These words are taken verbatim from notes found after she died.)
More of her words, from her notes: “It took me a long time to understand what it means to forgive someone. I always wondered how I could forgive someone who chose to hurt me. But, after a lot of soul- searching, I realized that forgiveness is not about accepting or excusing their behavior. It’s about letting it go and preventing their behavior from destroying my heart.” STRONG LOVING WORDS!!!
Arlene’s family would like to thank all the medical professionals and staff at Waverly Hematology Oncology in Cary, NC, WakeMed Hospital in Cary, NC and Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh, NC.
At Arlene’s request, her remains will be cremated and there will be no calling hours or service. Contributions can be made to Transitions LifeCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
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