August 26, 1951-October 4, 2019
MUSCATINE — Arlene Marie (Brzuszkiewicz) Melson, age 68, passed away on Friday, October 4, 2019, in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, from complications of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Arlene was born on August 26, 1951, in Evanston, Illinois, to Eugene J. and Mary Ann (Majkowski) Brzuszkiewicz. She graduated from Wheeling High School in 1969 and earned a bachelor's degree from Northeast Missouri State University and a master's degree from St. Ambrose University.
Upon graduation from Northeast Missouri State University, she married James (Jim) R. Melson in 1974 and moved to Muscatine, Iowa. For over 40 years, she was a dedicated, full-time and substitute teacher for the Muscatine School District and retired in 2016. In retirement, Arlene visited family and friends, cheered on both the Hawkeyes and Cyclones, and took in the beautiful nature of Wisconsin.
Arlene was a well-known member of the community. She was involved in hospice care, Grace Lutheran Church, Muscatine Booster Club, P.E.O., T.T.T. Society, and served on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Homes. Because of her avid volunteerism and advocacy for others, she was awarded the Governor's Volunteer Award from Terry Branstad.
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Arlene was a voracious reader who thrived on science, research, and was especially curious about the unknown. Also, she enjoyed dancing, painting and traveling. Most of all, Arlene loved her family. With her encouragement, even the stars were attainable. Throughout her life, she cherished being able to create priceless moments with her beloved children and precious granddaughters. Arlene's infectious laughter, eternal optimism, unwavering strength, unconditional kindness and selflessness, and ability to find beauty in everything will be indescribably missed.
Arlene is survived by her son, Christopher Melson of Des Moines, Iowa; daughters, Stephanie (Michael) Melson Shepard of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and Katherine (Matthew) Melson Johnson of Ankeny, Iowa; grandchildren, Elvy, Mhari, Mattie and Kindrie; mother, Mary Ann Brzuszkiewicz of Wheeling, Illinois; brothers, Eugene (Susan) Brzuszkiewicz of Lancaster, California, and Michael (Carol) Brzuszkiewicz of Lake Zurich, Illinois; sister-in-law, Jane Mathison of Ames, Iowa; and nieces and nephews, Randall (Christina) Mathison, Margaret Mathison, Neil Brzuszkiewicz, Michelle (Andrew) Brzuszkiewicz Martin, Kristen (Mark) Brzuszkiewicz Whitaker, and Branson Brzuszkiewicz. Arlene was preceded in death by her husband, father, in-laws Richard and Eva Mae Melson, and brother-in-law John Mathison.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Mayo Clinic. Please specify that it goes to MSA research, Dr. Phillip Low and that you are donating on behalf of Arlene Melson.
The family will receive friends and family from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, October 11, 2019, at the Geo. M. Wittich-Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services, 2907 Mulberry Ave., Muscatine. A service to celebrate Arlene's life will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 9 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery. Following the interment, please join the family for refreshments and friendship in the Geo. M Wittich-Lewis Community Room. Sympathy notes may be left for the family at www.lewisfuneralhomes.com.