Arlene M. Bolles

June 14, 1932 - December 15, 2022


Arlene Margaret Lear Bolles


June 14, 1932 to Dec. 15, 2022


Arlene Margaret Lear Bolles passed away Dec. 15, 2022 at her apartment in Bonadventure of Gresham in Gresham, Oregon following a brief illness. She was born in the Wilcox Memorial Annex of Good Samaritan Hospital on June 14, 1932 in Portland, Oregon to Agnes Cecelia Hellstein Lear and Ermal Worden Lear.

In Portland, she went to Rose City Park grade school and graduated from Grant High School in 1950.  When she was a senior, Arlene worked part time at Kress’ Dime Store in downtown Portland. In 1950 she worked for Security Lithograph and then Shell Oil Company downtown.

Arlene had two daughters, Diane Elaine Bolles Coates, born Aug. 16, 1954, and Debra “Debbie” Marie Bolles Waddle, born Oct. 27, 1961 in Portland. She married Donald Houston Bolles on Nov. 28, 1958.

In February 1956, Arlene began working at pulp and paper manufacturing company Crown Zellerbach Corp. in downtown Portland. In 1985, the company was taken over by Cavenham Forest Industries. She retired from Cavenham in July 1988, working for Crown Zellerbach/Cavenham a total of 32 years.

During the years she and Don were married, they spent many weekends deep sea fishing in their boat, going over the Columbia River bar into the Pacific Ocean. They also went camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, cross country skiing and downhill skiing as a family. They bought property at the Crooked River Ranch in central Oregon and put a 26-foot trailer on their lot, installing electricity and a water cistern. They later replaced the trailer with a 36-foot manufactured home. They tended to a vegetable garden and kept their horses on the property.

Arlene and Don enjoyed the outdoors. One week they went backpacking with two of their horses in the Strawberry Mountains wilderness area. They also towed their boat to the San Juan Islands near Seattle, Washington and spent a week there living on their 21-foot runabout boat. Arlene belonged to Lady Pilots, a boating club, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. She and Don also joined the Hayden Island Yacht Club.

After the couple divorced, Arlene met Ron Normansen while bowling in the same league with him in the late 1970s. On May 13, 1977, she and Ron had their first date, which was a ride in his airplane and Arlene’s first experience in a small plane. They were partners for 36 years until Ron passed away on Dec. 15, 2013.

Arlene and Ron bought their first RV in 1990, a 30-foot Pace Arrow, later upgrading to a 34-foot Holiday Rambler and then another Holiday Rambler after that with slideouts. The couple enjoyed taking many road trips over the next two decades, visiting 35 states before they sold their last motor home in 2011.

In 2016, Arlene sold her house in Portland where she had lived for 49 years and moved to Bonaventure of Gresham, where she enjoyed taking part in activities at the retirement community that included day trips, exercise classes, walking up to three times a day, and Bible study. The past two years she enjoyed the friendship of fellow Bonaventure resident John Bowman, her daily walking companion.

Arlene is survived by her two daughters, Diane and Debbie, sister Marilyn McGhee, grandchildren Danny Coates, Wendy Coates-Caldwell and Rachel Howell, six great-grandchildren, Sierra, Kamryn, Treavor, April, Rosslynn, and Luna; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.


Memorial Service for Arlene Bolles

Friday  – February 3, 2023 at 1:00PM

Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes

11667 S.E. Stevens Rd.

Happy Valley, Oregon 97086