Marnel Rae Arena

August 28, 2012

By Contributor

Marnel Arena

Marnel Rae Arena (Wiggins) was born April 8, 1953, in Seattle, the first of three daughters born to Austin and Betty Jo Wiggins, and passed away peacefully at her home, of breast cancer, on Aug. 15, 2012, with her family by her side.

She grew up in Issaquah in the home that her father built. She attended Clark Elementary School and Issaquah Junior High School, and graduated from Issaquah High School in 1971. At Issaquah High, she was involved with the girls’ club, cheered on the JV cheer squad her junior year, served as ASB secretary her senior year, was crowned Queen of the Senior Ball, and was on the honor roll throughout her entire high school career. Following graduation, Marnel attended then-Bellevue Community College and earned her Associate of Arts degree.

On Aug. 17, 1974, Marnel married the love of her life, Nicholas Arena, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Renton. They began building their first home together with the assistance of Marnel’s father in June 1979. In December 1979, they moved into their finished home on Lake McDonald, that they lived in for 24 years, and raised two children.

Marnel worked for 32 years at the Renton School District in their administrative offices; she was awarded Employee of the Year in 1992 and oriented thousands of new teachers. She retired in June 2011. Marnel was known as an avid cook, seamstress and card-maker that gifted many of her creations to family and friends. She was a devoted wife and mother who radiated kindness and a positive attitude.

Marnel was preceded in death by her father.

She is survived by her husband Nicholas; children Andrew, of Seattle, and Michelle (Paul), of Mesa, Ariz.; mother Betty Jo, of Issaquah; sisters Theresa (Gordy) Reece, of Issaquah, and Amy Wiggins, of Renton; as well as a large extended family and a large circle of friends.  Memorial contributions should be made to Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, or Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Friends are invited to attend Marnel’s celebration of life and memorial service on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, from 1-3 p.m. at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, 400 S. Second St., Renton, WA 98057.

Please share memories, view pictures and sign the family’s online guest book at www.flintofts.com.

Arrangements are by Flintoft’s Funeral Home, 392-6444.

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