For the first time in Arlene’s lifetime, she was early for an event. Just months shy of her 65th Birthday, Arlene Kay Reinhold made her final party entrance to the kingdom of Heaven on February 23, 2022.
Her life and story was tethered to advocacy for children and her community, from Maine, to Cape Cod and for the last decade, Florida. Princess Arlene was born on June 6, 1957 to father Rodney R. (Rocky) Reinhold and mother Virginia A. (Gini) Reinhold. She spent her childhood and tween years in Montgomery, MA getting into mischief from an early age with her big brother and the Chapman boys. In 1965 Arlene wanted a color TV, but got a little sister instead, Paula Jean (PJ) and in later years she not only had a little sister but a best friend. In 1971 Arlene moved to Westfield, MA with her family ready to make new friends and test her limits at Westfield High School. She and her new found friends were “the cool kids” and arrived at Westfield High every morning in a convertible, well not every morning, Arlene was quite adept at skipping school! Graduating from Westfield High in 1975, she took a circuitous route to a college major but finally found her educational home at the University of Southern Maine (Portland) where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Her purpose was clear, protecting abused, neglected children in crisis.Her first job in her field was in southern Maine, at the Little Brothers Shelter where she used her empathy and training to help children develop resiliency and hope. To make ends meet on a social worker salary, Clean Arlene’s Domestic Engineering was hatched and she spent decades working her off hours cleaning cottages, caretaking some very special elderly friends and and periodically throwing away her Dad’s stuff away in the garage. Her professional passion shifted with her move to Cape Cod in the late 80’s and she became an advocate for her community. Her first Executive Director position in the Not for Profit world was the fledgling Cape Cod Times Needy Fund. Arlene used her years of advocating for children and families on Cape Cod to excellent use by connecting them to services and programs to help them to continue to live on the Cape. During her time building the development of the Needy Fund and helping her community, Arlene entered the rigorous accelerated Masters program at the University of Massachusetts (Boston) where she earned her Masters in Human Services Administration. The Cape Cod community benefited from Arlene’s compassion, empathy and mission focused drive, as did the numerous Not for Profit agencies she worked tirelessly for including the March of Dimes, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and the Red Cross. Her move to Florida to be closer to her parents brought her back to social work and children advocacy and she spent her last working years helping families across the Tampa region.
No story about Arlene would be complete unless it mentioned her fierce, joyous and loyal friendships that spanned decades back to high school.
Her daffy high school girlfriend Janet, her Mainiac best friend Peter, her bestie on Cape Cod, Phyllis, and her protective and compassionate friend Geraldine who helped Arlene manage her final years.
If you knew Arlene you know her family is heartbroken that we have lost her wit, sarcasm, fierce love and loud joyous laughter.
She leaves her Father Rodney R, Mother Virginia A, brother Rodney R Jr. and wife Natalie, sister Paula J and husband-in-law David Hersey.
And the next generation of our family will miss her play dates and surprise gifts including niece Melissa Phelps and husband Mitchell and her beloved great nephews Johnathan, her twin birthday boy Trevor and little Derrick.
To honor her legacy, please consider a donation to:
Cape Cod Times Needy Fund
Open House Virtual link