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Alma Lucille Arent, 95, of St. Joseph, was enveloped in love by her family and passed away peacefully in her home on August 2, 2021 after a long battle with COPD and a debilitating neck injury in January 2020.

She was born on July 24, 1926, and just celebrated her 95th birthday with friends and family, chocolate cake & ice cream, balloons and Zoom video visits with relatives near and far. She grew up on a 100-acre peach farm in Eau Claire with her parents Ernest & Minnie, and siblings Norma and Nathan. Her childhood was full of family fun and hard work.

Her profession of administration and secretarial services included 12 years at VM Corporation, which culminated into an opportunity of a lifetime where she went on to work for the Agency of International Development overseas for 20 years. She served in many countries including: Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Botswana. She literally “saw” the world! She collected beautiful art pieces and exotic treasures from over 36 countries during her career, and brought them all home to enjoy after her retirement in 1982. She also had a passion for travel and photography and took thousands of slides of her adventures. While away serving our country she continued to return home numerous times to visit family, celebrating special occasions, and continued to write home all throughout her career. Also while supporting the development of aid programs, she attended many prominent events with ambassadors, lieutenants, dignitaries, and celebrations of grandeur.

During her retirement, Alma delved into the study of genealogy, local history, family history preservation, photo restoration and scrapbooking (she created 30 scrapbooks). She stayed close with her colleagues from her last service term in Botswana, Africa, and participated in over 27 reunions and looked forward to connecting with those cherished friends all through the years.

The things she will most be remembered for are her adventurous spirit, generosity, charming wit and cute sense of humor, positive attitude, her homemade Christmas cookies, and her love of her family that surpassed all of our expectations. Her life was full to the brim and she lived it with zest, passion, and an intense love of all things family.

To commemorate her, please attend a Celebration of Life service on Friday, Aug. 6, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel at 1 p.m. with Pastor Jon Bendewald officiating. A visitation for family and friends is offered an hour before the service. In lieu of flowers, Alma requested that the following organizations be supported through your kindness and generosity: North Berrien Historical Society, Berrien County Genealogical Society, and the Berrien County Cancer Service. Those wishing to share a memory of Alma online may do so at

She is survived by her brother Nate, and numerous nieces & nephews.


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