Obituary: Arlene Marie Dorn

June 27, 1928 ~ June 21, 2023

In the early morning on June 21, 2023, Arlene Marie Dorn died at her home in Sun City, Arizona with her son Michael and granddaughter Rebekka by her side. It was just six days short of her 95th birthday. 

She was sweet and humble, with a bashful laugh that inspired joy. Family was everything to her and she was actively involved in everyone’s lives.   

Arlene was born in Escanaba, Michigan on June 27, 1928, and raised in Bark River. As an adult she moved to Wisconsin with her family where she met her husband George, a dentist in Milwaukee. They set up their home in Elm Grove where they raised a son and two daughters. In the summer they vacationed in Door County, Wisconsin, a place they would eventually live for the first part of their retirement.

Arlene was a student of art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and creative in everything she pursued. She had a multitude of interests including painting, ceramics, weaving, wood carving, quilting, scrapbooking, and especially jewelry making. Later, in Door County, she was part of a community of friends who would gather to pursue these interests together. She was always learning new things and starting new projects right up until her final days.

Playing music on her piano was a passion close to her heart as was gardening for which she showed exceptional talent. She loved entertaining with family and friends, turning mealtimes into special occasions.

Her appreciation of nature and culture inspired her life-long desire to see the world through travel which she often did in the U.S. and abroad. She loved meeting up with her daughters and granddaughters for girls’ weekends in NYC, and gathering with the entire tribe in Southampton, New York every summer. 

Arlene and  George were blessed with over 58 years of marriage. He preceded her in death on April 18, 2007.

Arlene will be missed by her three children, son Michael and daughters Michele (Chuck O’Neil) and Mary Beth (Howard Staley); grandmother of 6, Christopher Dorn, Rebekka (Terry Federer), Rachel (Anthony Buison), Angela (Daniel Neave), Emma (Riley Fenlon) and Kevin Staley; great-grandmother of 8, Alma, Finn, Billie, Levy, Mira, Rory, Murphy, and Remy.

Family was at the heart of who she was, and she was the most significant person in all our lives. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to us all and we feel blessed to have shared our lives with her. That is her legacy. We love her forever.

Arlene’s life will be honored with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 at Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site, 2410 S. Bay Shore Drive, Sister Bay, WI 54234. She will be laid to rest in the church cemetery, St. Rosalia Cemetery, beside her husband, George.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass.

Memorials may be given in Arlene’s name for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Arlene may be shared with her family through her tribute page at or