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M. Arlene Lightbown

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“Arlene was a wonderful friend for many years in Wakefield, We played bridge together and served in many organizations, including most recently the...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Barbara & Ben Parish - MA


M. Arlene Lightbown (Smith) passed away on August 11, 2022, at her home in Wakefield, MA. If you'd seen her that day or for that matter any day after her 100th birthday on January 11, she would have told you she's almost 101. It was around her mid nineties that she declared that "when she got old" she would get a dog. And that's really how Arlene lived her life, aging but never really getting old.

Born in 1922 in Presque Isle, Maine, Arlene's family moved to Stoneham, MA. She graduated from Stoneham High School and Catherine Gibbs in Boston.
Arlene met her husband, Harold French Lightbown, affectionately known as Lighty, when he was dating her best friend. He returned from the war and they built their life together in Wakefield, MA. She is survived by her children, Dorian Lightbown of South Dartmouth, MA, Meredith Lightbown of Weston, MA, and Scot Lightbown of Cuba, MO. She loved her grandchildren fiercely; Giles and wife Mia Dickerson, Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor, Zoë Chatfield-Taylor and husband Evan Korsmeyer, Nathanial and wife Madi Brooks Lightbown, Yolanda Lightbown and Francisco Lightbown. Her final years were dedicated to watching her five great grandchildren grow up.

In 1965, her husband's "The Lightbown Press" printed her cookbook "Hundreds of Hors D'Oeuvres – Helpful hints for the hostess – to put that little extra 'life in your party' and to help guide you through many, many, 'happy hours." In addition to the seemingly ahead of her time recipe for guacamole, you'll find her famous Priscilla's Meatballs recipe and family favorite Nuts and Bolts, which, regardless of the most flashy Christmas present under the tree, it was her homemade chex mix that was always the most coveted gift of all. Christmas with Arlene also meant that the cookies had arrived, everyone's favorite after dinner indulgence.

Later in life her cooking focus moved to baking for the Union Congregational Church fair in North Reading. Arlene would set up at a table with the breads and desserts that she had been baking for months ahead of time.

Arlene and Lighty were long time members of Meadowbrook Golf Club in Reading, MA. In addition to golf, Arlene was an avid bridge player and at age 81 learned how to play mahjong. Up until 2020, Arlene still regularly hosted game dates with her friends and would fund her mani pedis with her winnings.
The family is forever in debt to her previous neighbor, Mike O'Keefe, who made "living on her own" possible at The Greens in North Reading. Thank you to all of her caregivers at Brightview in Wakefield.

Arlene, or Grammy as known by her closest loved ones, was an incredible woman. She was loving and honest and we are blessed to have been able to enjoy so many incredible years with her.

Arlene's family will hold a private service to honor her memory. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston.