Arlene Schwartz died in her son’s home on July 18th, soon after celebrations with family and friends upon her return from Arizona to Maryland. She spent eight months with her son and daughter-in-law in Damascus Maryland then, six months with her daughter and her partner in Patagonia, Arizona after selling her home near Woodfield, Maryland.
Arlene Schwartz was born Arlene Virginia Davidson in 1933 in Binghamton, New York, to parents Ida Reburn Davidson and John Vest Davidson. They moved back to Lynchburg for her primary grade schooling and then to Derwood, Maryland for her secondary school years. She was the apple of her parents’ eye and a role model for generations of Reburns and Davidsons.
Arlene graduated from the University of Maryland in 1956 with a degree in Government and Politics from the College of Business and Public Administration. She met her future husband in high school while living as his neighbor in Derwood, Maryland. They married September 7, 1957 after graduating from college. Frank was the middle son of Richard and Mary Schwartz in Derwood. He became a Senior Project Manager in the Advanced Concepts Branch at the Naval Research and Development Center.
In 1960, Arlene and Frank joined the Faith United Church which merged with St. Andrew United Presbyterian Church to become the Rockville United Church (RUC) in 1967. They raised 3 children together until the ages of 14, 11 and 8, when Frank died of cancer in 1974. Arlene then became a single, working mom; employed in the Montgomery County Public School system and then at the Central Intelligence Agency where she worked as an Information Resource Officer with the Foreign Broadcast Information Service for 26 years.
Arlene met Don Reppard in her work carpool and they became fast friends and later; life partners. They traveled the world together and enjoyed outings with their friends to the theater and the beach, as well as biking and cross-country skiing trips.
In 2016, RUC had a celebration honoring founding members of the church and Arlene was the lone surviving founder on the Faith United Church side. She had a major interest in community ministry and when asked what she’d like to see in her lifetime, she said an end to racism in our society. She was very active for the entirety of her life in RUC and participated in book and bridge groups generated by church friends up until her last year of life.
Arlene was an avid game player and known by many to be unbeatable. She and her first born grandson took the family set-back tournament in its inaugural year as the Reburn Recliners. She stunned her daughter Kerry winning a scrabble game with a 66 pointer a month before her death.
She is survived by her two children, Kerry (and partner Melanie Morrison) and Frank (and his wife Jane Schwartz), and four grandchildren Nicholas, Noah, and Annika Schwartz and Jordan DeLaRosa. She cared for her husband, Frank Schwartz, until his death due to cancer in 1974, for her daughter, Tracy Schwartz, until her death due to pancreatic cancer in 2015, and for her life-partner Donald Reppard who preceded her in death earlier this year.
A memorial service will be held on October 9th at 11 am at Rockville United Church, 355 Linthicum St, Rockville, MD 20851. Donations can be made in her honor to Community Reach of Montgomery County (https://www.cmrocks.org/donate). Please make the donation In Memory of Arlene Virginia Schwartz. When you go to either the paypal or credit card option put this reference in the notes section or include it in the memo section on your check.
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