OLSON, Arlene Catherine (Bulmer) 95, of Merrimack, NH and formerly of Brighton, MA passed peacefully on July 4, 2020 at home surrounded by her loved ones. She was pre-deceased by the love of her life, Donald J. Olson, Sr. whom she adored, and to whom she was happily married for 56 years. Arlene was born on December 2, 1924 in Brighton, daughter of the late George L. and Katherine E. (Whalen) Bulmer. Loving sister of her “baby brother” Paul Bulmer of Danielson, CT and the late Robert Bulmer and Marion White.
Arlene was the beloved and devoted mother of Nancy Murphy and her husband John of Merrimack, and Donald J. (Mabby Roque) Olson, Jr. a US Merchant Marine, of the Philippines.
Adoring grandmother of Katelyn (James) LeBlanc, Lindsey (Kyle) Maye; Heather, Mackenzie and Zach Murphy, all of Merrimack; and Ryan (Matt Giberti) Murphy, of Dedham, MA.
Cherished “Gigi” of Madison and Hailey Hunt, Ethan LeBlanc, and Brooklyn, Griffin, and Grayden Maye.
Arlene is survived by four generations of nieces and nephews who she loved dearly, and many friends from the Merrimack Senior Citizen Club, Our Lady of Mercy Ladies Guild, Reeds Ferry Women’s Club, and “The Wendy’s Girls”.
Arlene graduated from Brighton High School and Bryant and Stratton Business School and worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for Raytheon, Lahey Clinic, US Steel, Harvey Steel, and Livoli Builders, eventually retiring as Unit Secretary at Franciscan Children’s Hospital.
In 1951 she met her adoring husband, Don, whose willingness to drive 200 miles round trip every weekend just to see her and take her dancing, proved he was a “keeper”. They loved to dance together, canoe, bowl, go to the beach and attend plays and movies. Arlene and Don married in 1953, bought their first home, and became parents to the two luckiest children in the world. She was an exceptional wife, mother, and surrogate mother to many. Arlene’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family were everything to her and will miss her dearly.
Arlene was a woman of great faith, said her rosary every day, attended Mass regularly and found great strength in her Catholic beliefs. She was a woman of integrity and great compassion, and friend and role model to all.
In her final days, Arlene refused hospice when informed that the two health providers she held in highest esteem, and who she knew she could always count on and trust, would not be able to continue to provide her care. She asked that her obituary include her thanks and forever gratitude to Marie Gerhard-Herman, MD and Darren Pelio, PA for their kind, compassionate and loving care. Arlene’s family is forever indebted to both as well.
Calling hours will be held Friday from 4-8 PM and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 10 AM, both at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 7 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack, NH. Burial will follow at Last Rest Cemetery, Merrimack. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and current public safety measures, mask-wearing and social distancing will be required.
Because of her example and love of children and family, memorial donations may be made to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Alzheimer’s Association.