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She was born Aug. 26, 1925, in Topeka, to Leland E. and Bess (Plank) Hartzler.
Arlene graduated from Goshen High School in 1943 and from Bluffton College (University), Bluffton, Ohio, in 1947. She earned a master's degree from Northwestern University. She was dean of women at Bluffton College, then taught at several elementary schools. Many of those years were spent at Parkside Elementary in Goshen. In total, she was in education for 36 years.
Arlene was a lifelong member of Eighth Street Mennonite Church.
In 1969, she married George Keim. George had two daughters, Sally, who died in 1974, and Kay. George died in 1985.
In 1990, she married Freeman Christner, who died in 2012.
Arlene is survived by her sister, Melba Bechtel; daughter, Kay (Randy) Nusbaum; three stepchildren, Shirleen (Ron) Weaver, Gary (Nedra) Christner and Connie (Seth) Kauffman; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Also important to her were nephew, Jack (Nadine) Bechtel; and nieces Nancy (Stefan) Miller and Cindy (daughter, Shelby) Burge.
Services will take place Saturday afternoon, March 23, at Eighth Street Church in Goshen, visitation from 1-2 p.m., memorial service at 2 p.m. Burial will be at a later date.
The family wishes to express special appreciation to Goshen Health Hospice and to the Greencroft Health Care staff.
Memorials may be given to Goshen Health Hospice, Bluffton University or Camp Friedenswald.
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