About Anna Laurene Arnett

When I read a book touting the contributions of maybe a couple of dozen women, I began to realize that I could almost qualify as a remarkable woman, myself. I've listed some of the things I recall that may indicate my progression into "The Greatest Generation."

I was five when the stock market plunged. Though we ate well we lived frugally.

I finished grammar school with the highest score achieved in the fifteen years the county had been administering a test for country schools.

I was a senior in high school when they bombed Pearl Harbor. Since then, I

  • postponed college to work two years as a civil service stenographer for the government,
  • married a farm boy who had served as a B-24 bomber pilot and a German Prisoner of War who got recalled and retired as a Lt. Col.
  • gave birth to seven children all of whom still claim to love me,
  • survived while my husband filled two year-long overseas assignments without us; our fifth child was born during his first tour while the oldest was still six; and again, in Vietnam, when those five were all teenagers and my other two were nine and four,
  • lived at least one month up to three years, in fourteen states, the District of Columbia, and two foreign nations--Japan and Australia, our first 21 years of marriage necessitating27 moves,
  • traveled through 34 more states (missed AK and ND) and 14 other countries,
  • earned AA, BA, & MA degrees after my 7th child started school,
  • taught sixteen years — at first as only, then head-teacher in Mesa's school for pregnant girls,
  • served as secretary, then president of a statewide organization dealing with pregnant students,
  • received Rotary International's employee of the year from Mesa Rotary Club, 1986-87
  • gave five years of volunteer weekly visits to an assisted living place,
  • trained as a hospice volunteer,
  • worked at polls six or eight times during which I eventually filled each post at a voting place,
  • at least seventy-five years of volunteer church service, usually with multiple callings in music, teaching, administration, etc.,
  • am currently a church choir director, and sing with the nursery,
  • manage to be a continual student and, at 85, contemplating another degree,
  • am a poet, and can recite, probably well over a hundred poems,
  • a composer of words, music and script for a 45-minute reader's theater with choir and soloists,
  • helped write and directed a top-award-wining road-show,
  • an author-writer with a few publications and a book soon to be published
  • ANWA writing group member and chapter president,
  • a critique editor,
  • an actress, playing supporting roles in three stage plays and a melodrama,
  • a fairly active blogger and occasional participant on facebook, twitter, goodreads, linkedin, etc.
  • keep trying to be a good grandmother of 27,
  • a great-grandmother of 36 and counting,
  • struggle to raise funds as current president of Arnett Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization,
  • work at living fully even since the death of my beloved husband of 64 years,
  • collect books, nativities, clocks, and closets-full of yarn,
  • have, so far, stockpiled well over 500 knit or crocheted dishcloths for my kids to distribute at my funeral.

I've always classed myself as being very middle-of-the-road. There is nothing I do or have done but what I personally know somebody who does either more of that same thing (with the exception of the dish cloths) or better, but so far I haven't been aware of anyone who does more of everything I do, and does it all better than I do. So, I continue along my happy trail, always hoping and, at least some of the time, trying to improve.

Anna Arnett


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