September 19, 1924 November 29, 2013
Robert Francis Arenz of Gearhart died November 29th, 2013, peacefully with family at his son's home in Portland, Oregon. He was born September 19, 1924, in Portland, and adopted by Theodore Arenz and Celia Hetland Arenz. His birth mother was Maxine Catherine Ronna of Pasadena, California.
His early education began at Catlin Gable in Portland and later, at The Lakeside School in Seattle, WA. He graduated from Connecticut's Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1948.
Robert married Therese Ellen Spencer (now Terri Mersereau) and began serving in the U.S. Army as a translator in Europe during WWII. He was fluent in English, French, German and Italian. Terri and Robert first settled in Kansas, where they gave birth to a son Eric Arenz. They moved to Portland, then giving birth to four daughters Elaine Brock, Tr Arenz (deceased), Annabelle Groh and Heidi Kleist.
Robert co-owned Burke-Arenz Music Company until the early 1960s. He later married his second wife, Barbara Young in Portland. Together they cared for ten children with Robert welcoming five stepsons, Tom Otis, Brad Otis, Scott Otis, Todd Otis, and Rick Burch. The family moved to Carmel, CA, in 1963 where they had a son Hans Arenz. Barbara died in 1978.
Robert had natural talent a heartfelt love of music. Being a diligent and gifted pianist, he always gave due acknowledgment to his first piano instructor, Mrs. McCracken of Portland, for her strict principles and teachings. Though he played several other instruments during his time, his pianos were undeniably where his greatest blessings, joys and musical undertakings were realized.
Robert was general manager of Water West Water Company in Monterey. In the early 1970s, he became director of the Carmel Bach festival and president of the Carmel Music Society. Robert met Florence Kennedy in Monterey and they were married in 1980. With this union he lovingly welcomed two more stepdaughters, Margaret Plichta and Marsha Rappleye, and later, Marsha's two sons Carlos and Liam. Florence died in Gearhart in 2010.
In 1982 Robert and Florence semi-retired to Cannon Beach, Oregon where they bought and ran a variety shop called Something Special in Sandpiper Square and soon changed the name to A Great Shop. In 1985, they moved to Gearhart and brought the successful gift shop with them. For over the next twenty-plus years he played the pipe organ, nearly every Sunday, at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Seaside. Robert ran the shop with Florence, and assisted in managing Gearhart Greens Condominiums.
Robert's depth of knowledge, acquired taste, attention to detail, linguistics and charm turned him into a local rock-star among those he knew a master of crosswords, a quick thinker and an engaging, inspirational conversationalist. He was a practical joker for sure crafty, witty, joyful and jolly, musically adept, a host and a gentleman rolled up into one, unforgettable father.
Five of his children, 13 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren and 7 stepchildren, 8 step-grandchildren, and 4 step-great-grandchildren survive him.
A memorial service will be held for Robert F. Arenz at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 1st, 2014, at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Seaside, OR (503 N. Holladay Drive, Seaside, OR).
The family requests that any donations be made in Robert's name to: Providence Hospice, ATTN: Foundation, 6410 NE Halsey ST, Portland, OR 97213.
Hughes-Ransom Mortuary Seaside
220 N Holladay