Arlene Ann Swanson Blockey, 92, passed away November 24, 2019. The oldest of three children, she was born in Bozeman on August 21, 1927 to Arnold Melanchton Swanson and Nora Emelia Friedrich Swanson. Arlene attended Bozeman schools graduating from Gallatin High School in 1945. She attended Montana State College where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She then worked for Haynes Studios in Yellowstone Park. While working there she met a lifelong friend; the two of them decided to move to "the big city" of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She worked for Northwestern Publishing Company in Minneapolis from 1947 to 1949. Through a friend she met the love of her life, a handsome war veteran who loved to dance and was a student at St. Thomas College. Upon his graduation, she married this wonderful man, Ernest Alfred (Al) Blockey on June 11, 1949. The family (now with a daughter) moved to Bozeman in 1952. They had three more children, one who died in infancy. She worked as a bookkeeper from 1962 to 1978 for Swanson's Mobil Station.
Family was most important to Arlene. Many summer weekends she would have the camping trailer packed and ready to go when Al got home from work. They explored local and national parks, lakes, forests, and ghost towns. She was an avid world traveler as well. When Al retired, they traveled the US and Canada, cruised and traveled abroad, including visiting all the countries in which Al fought during WWII. When he passed away (1996), she continued to travel abroad with her daughter. One of her most memorable trips was Thanksgiving 2007 in New York City with family and friends. When the children were younger Arlene was a Co-leader for Blue Birds and Campfire organizations. She was also an active member of the Extension Homemakers, Coffee Break Bowling League (even bowled a 300!), Cotillion Formal Dance Club, and Cotillion Dance Club. She was a member of the Bozeman Senior Center and Holy Rosary Church. She actively supported Al in the advancement of his education as well as his charitable endeavors.
Arlene had a gift and a love for designing, building, and decorating their homes. She and Al designed and remodeled their first little home, then designed and built their next three homes. After he passed away, she continued her passion, remodeling an additional home and then designing her current house which her son Craig built on the lot adjoining his. She enjoyed her home immensely and lived in and maintained that home until her death.
She also had a life-long passion for reading. She couldn't pass a bookstore without buying a book and when Costco came to town her collection was greatly enhanced! In addition to books she loved to read magazines especially those about architectural & home design. The Daily Chronicle was a must read and she enjoyed reading articles of interest out loud to her daughter.
Arlene was preceded in death by her husband, Al; infant son, Michael; brother, Keith; and her parents. She is survived by her daughter, Arlynne of Santa Rosa, CA and partner, Bob Carter of Willows, CA; son, Steve and wife Pam; son, Craig and wife Julie, all of Bozeman; grandchildren, Christopher (Becky) and Cameron Schmauch; Aaron and Caleb Blockey, Czarina Blockey-Davis (Levi); James (J.C.) (Tanja), Jennifer, Jessica, Mariz, Irish and Cherry Blockey; Marites Hulderman; great-grandchildren, Kaitlin, Emma, and Kevin Schmauch; Aleida Blockey, Layla and Zaida Davis; Kyanri, Athena and Raina Hulderman; Maya Blockey; sister, Jeannie Peterson of Livingston as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Rosary will be held at 4:00 p.m. Sunday at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Bozeman with a Graveside Service at Sunset Hills Cemetery and Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, or the charity of your choice.