Obituary: Arbutus “Arby” Roth

September 30, 1931 ~ July 6, 2023

Arbutus “Arby” Roth, 91 of Sturgeon Bay, died in the morning hours of July 6, 2023 at the Pine Crest Village in Sturgeon Bay, WI, after celebrating the holiday weekend with family.

Arbutus was born in Shawano County to Lawrence & Louise (Dehn) Blom on September 30, 1931. The Blom family lived in Neenah, WI until Arby was five, then moved to Green Bay, WI where they lived for the rest of her school days. She graduated from West High School in 1949 and worked as a secretary after she graduated.

It was during her time as a secretary at a car dealership in Green Bay that she met her future father-in- law, Andrew Roth, who told his son, Ralph, that there was a nice secretary he should meet. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1953, Ralph and Arby were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Green Bay. They stayed in Green Bay until 1957 and then moved to Sturgeon Bay on August 1, 1957.

Arby worked as a high school secretary at Sevastopol School for 15 years and then part time as an On Site Manager at Orchard Valley Apartments for 10 years. Upon Ralph’s retirement, they spent the next 20 winters in Apache Junction, AZ, where they had a community of friends to golf, dance, and play cribbage with, and often hosted family who wanted to escape a Wisconsin winter. In Sturgeon Bay, they were active members of St. Peters Lutheran Church, and also an established pair at brunch group after services with their good friends (and sometimes a lucky grandchild or two). Ralph and Arby celebrated their 60th anniversary with family and friends prior to his death in 2013.

Arby was always sociable and enjoyed being surrounded by family and friends. She enjoyed traveling, recently taking trips with her four daughters around the country. She loved bowling, playing cards, and having coffee with friends. Ralph and Arby were amazing dancers and we were lucky enough to watch them light up a dance floor at family gatherings, including the weddings of several of her grandchildren.  She was an active crafter, always with a new project for her grandchildren when they were young, and stamping cards with her daughters to sell at the local farmer’s markets until her passing.

Arby is survived by her four daughters. Charlene (Michael) Brauer, Sturgeon Bay, Debra (Dale) Kinney, Rhinelander, Candace (Carla) Roth, VanDyne, Cheryl (Randal) Wilke, Sturgeon Bay. She will also be missed by her brother Lee (Karen) Blom, and sisters-in-law Shirley Blom, Grace Blom, and Bev Blom, 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents Lawrence and Louise Blom, in-laws Andrew and Edna Roth, brothers Roger, Wally, and Larry and great-granddaughter, Elsie.

Funeral services will be 11:00 am Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church with the Rev. Joel Sauer officiating.  Burial will be in Bayside Cemetery.  Friends may call at the Forbes Funeral Home on Monday, July 10, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm and at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 am until the time of service. 

Arby’s family would like to thank Pine Crest Village, St. Peter’s Church, and friends for their love, care and compassion.