Arlene Mae Snyder Krafka was born on April 18, 1931 at home in Independence to parents Clarence Henry & Lurah Addean Andrews Snyder. She had an older sister to welcome her.
As a youngster her parents moved several times during the Great Depression, initially to Quasqueton for a few years where Arlene was enrolled and started kindergarten. She was raised in the Baptist faith.
She then attended a rural one-room school near Otterville, Iowa where her maternal grandparents farmed and needed help. When her parents eventually settled back in the city of Independence, Arlene was placed one year ahead of her age a result of learning she achieved in the one-room school setting. She attended Independence Junior High and graduated with the class of 1948 from Independence High School, one month after her 17th birthday. Shortly after graduation she was invited to work at the O’Brien Law Office in Independence. In 1949 she moved to Waterloo and was the legal secretary for senior partner, Charles Swisher of the Swisher & Cohrt Law firm until her marriage.
On July 18, 1953 Arlene Snyder married Robert Charles Krafka at Little Brown Church in the Vale. They grew into a family of four children, nine grandchildren and soon to be 15 great-grandchildren who have fond & special memories of their farm home. Arlene’s cherished family includes ˢCraig & Andrea Krafka; Amy (Pete) Eikamp, Max, Miles, Oliver & Boston all of Dysart; and Nicole (Colby) Heishman, Brynlee & Josephine of Brooklyn. ˢDavid Krafka of Dysart; Emily (Ross) Stalzer, Lane, Kelby of Haverhill and Ben Krafka of Melbourne; MSgt Shane (Bailey) Krafka, Hadley, Fynn & Langstyn of Spangdahlem American Air Base, Germany. ˢDann Krafka; Alex; Ryan (Jeanette) Krafka & baby due in November, all of Solon. ͩJoan & Joseph Meany, Waterloo; Seth; Ross (Shauna) & Jackson Meany; Betsy (Jesse) & Stella Blau, all WDM area.
Arlene is also survived by her sister L. Alverna Robertson, brother-in-law Richard Krafka of Dysart, 9 cousins, 9 nieces, 3 nephews & their families, most in Iowa. Arlene was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Robert in 2020; her parents, in-laws Charles and Albena Chudlic Krafka of Dysart; daughter-in-law Peggy; one nephew Tim & his father Donald Robertson of Fredericksburg, Virginia; great niece Lori; and sisters-in-laws (& husbands) Vivian & Caroline Krafka, Arlene (& Dale) Palmer and Janet (& both Warrens) Messer & Sawyer.
Arlene was a self-taught excellent cook & baker. Arlene knew the importance of a family table before that term was coined. She gardened, canned vegetables, fruits, kraut and pickles. Her other hobbies/ interests were sewing, millinery, needle pointing, reading, family genealogy, and community service. Arlene was a member of (Mother’s) Take Time department of GFWC, instrumental in establishing a scholarship program; a member of United Methodist Women’s Rebekah Circle, where she played in English handbell choir and served on church & community committees and boards, Dysart 4H Club & Girl Scout leader. When kids were all in school she was a bookkeeper, legal secretary, receptionist & retired in 1996 to become a cookie-baking grandmother. In retirement she was happiest enjoying her remodeled 100 year old farm home.
In years preceding her 90th birthday Arlene suffered from memory loss. She was a cardiac ICU patient for 5 days then transferred to the Cedar Valley Hospice House in Waterloo, Iowa where she died 2 days later at 4:30 AM, Wednesday, September 1, 2021. For anyone wishing to join Arlene’s family at a Celebration of Life, please call 319-654-5014 no later than September 13, 2021 for further details.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kruse-phillips.com