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Share the Stories

Arlene Lorenz

June 18, 1943 - February 9, 2017
Muskegon, MI



Saturday, February 18, 2017
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST
Sherman Bowling Alley's, Platinum Banquet Center
1531 West Sherman Blvd
Muskegon, MI 49441

A Memorial Gathering with a Time of Sharing at 2:00PM


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
21311 Civic Center Drive
Southfield, MI 48076
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Chalet Floral
700 W. Hackley Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49441
(231) 755-1805
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Arlene Lorenz brought such beauty to the world around her. She was kindhearted, compassionate, and gracious with a spirit of generosity that was unmatched. Arlene was a loving and devoted wife and mother, and she offered timeless wisdom to countless younger people who were in her path. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she faced whatever came her way with such strength. Although things will never be the same for her friends and loved ones now that she is gone, they will forever hold her memory near and dear to their hearts.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of the nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Countless young servicemen and women had answered the call to serve, and those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods like coffee, sugar, rubber, and tin. It was during this eventful time in our nation that Floyd and Dolores (Johnson) Burrington were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Arlene Marie on June 18, 1943, in Muskegon, Michigan. She was the oldest of three Burrington girls as she was raised in the family home on DeFeyter Street in the Cloverville area of Muskegon alongside her sisters, Linda and Jane. Arlene’s father worked at Shaw Box and Crane while her mother was a homemaker who later went to work in the button factory.

In many ways Arlene was a young girl of her generation. Because she was six years older than her next closest sister, she often babysat her younger siblings as a teenager. Arlene attended Beach Elementary School and then went on to Muskegon Heights High School. She worked at the soda fountain in a nearby drugstore and also picked blueberries during the summer for extra spending money. Arlene developed a love for country western music, and like so many other young girls she loved Elvis Presley as well.

After graduating from high school in 1961, Arlene was eager for all that life had in store. She worked various jobs, and from 1965 through 1968 she worked at Howmet Misco in Whitehall. During this time she met and then married Robert Piszczek in 1964. Although their marriage later ended in divorce, Arlene was forever grateful for the births of their two girls, Lori in 1965 and JoAnn in 1970.

Brighter days were on the horizon for Arlene when when she took a job as a window maker at Muskegon Paper Box Company since it was there that she met the man with whom she would spend the best years of her life. His name was Arnold Lorenz, and he had three kids of his own, David, Arnold, and Kathy. They began dating and soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Arlene and Arnold were married on April 12, 1973. Their two families blended with one another beautifully, and together they were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Michelle. After a short time, they moved in to a mobile home in Grant, Michigan. This was a great place, and some of their best memories were made around a bonfire in the yard, often with Elvis on the 8-track. A very social and outgoing couple, Arlene and Arnold regularly had friends over to play cards. Her family appreciated her fantastic skills in the kitchen, and among her favorite dishes were her sloppy joes, Circus Dogs, and fish dinners. Arlene loved gardening and was especially known for her peppers.

Over the years, Arlene kept busy with the things she loved, even when her health became more limiting. Arlene was an avid bowler, bowling up to three nights a week on different leagues with her mother and sister. She served as a board member and treasurer of the Greater Muskegon Women’s Bowling association. There were many fun trips to tournaments around the state and country including to Las Vegas. On one trip to California, they even got to appear on The Price Is Right. Arlene regularly played the Michigan Lottery, and she was lucky enough to have her fair share of winnings, too. She was also an avid and serious Bingo player. When all of her daughters turned 18, Arlene took them to play. Within her community, she was very active in the Holton High School Booster Club and also at the American Legion Post in Holton.

Life changed for Arlene and her loved ones after she suffered a stroke in 1984. Not long after, she began showing signs of multiple sclerosis. As her health declined, she quit work and went on disability in 1986. Arlene kept as active as she could as her body slowly declined, and she adapted in a variety of ways as she wasn't one to give up. In fact, Arlene learned to bowl with her right hand when the disease affected her left hand. She eventually became confined to a wheelchair, but she still attended family and holiday functions and kept knitting baby blankets until she was no longer able. Through all of her health issues, Arnold tenderly cared for her until his death in 2009.

After Arnold’s death in 2009, Arlene soon moved into Lakewoods Nursing Center where she was loved by staff and residents alike. She loved them like family, and she even did some motherly counseling to the younger staff members there who affectionately called her Mama Lorenz. She also loved receiving visitors there, which was a common occurrence. Arlene really loved playing Bingo there and was able to keep playing until just a week before her death.

Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Arlene Lorenz was a special gift in the lives of all who were near. She had a great sense of humor and a zest for life that was truly contagious. Arlene was a tender and nurturing mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who treasured her family above all else. Always choosing to see the bright side in everything, she was an inspiration. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

Arlene Marie Lorenz, passed away Thursday, February 9, 2017. Arlene’s family includes her sons, David (Birdie) Lorenz of Norton Shores, Arnold Lorenz of Ada; daughters, Lori (Scott) Ellison of Twin Lake, JoAnn (Steve) Peliotes of Muskegon, Michelle (Wayne) Harris of Twin Lake, Kathy Crankshaw of FL; 15 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild; sisters, Jane (Randy) Ryefield of Muskegon, Linda (Dave) Languicsh of Byron Center; the staff and her "family" at Lakewood Nursing Center. A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Sherman Bowling Alley's, Platinum Banquet Center. Rev. Paul Urban will lead a time of sharing at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers please consider giving to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.