Arlene Marie Teed (Rathbun)East Lansing - Arlene Marie Teed (Rathbun), wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, social justice activist, lover of art, words, poetry, music, fall leaves, and cats, age 82, made her transition on November 22, 2017, surrounded by her family. She was born September 26, 1935 to Marion and G. Ray Rathbun in Howell, Michigan.
Arlene grew up on Grand River Avenue in Fowlerville, graduated with honors from Fowlerville High School in 1953, and went on to Michigan State University, where she majored in English.
After college, Arlene moved to Metro-Detroit where she met and later married her husband, Robert Teed in 1962. They shared their first apartment in Cass Corridor, and bought their first home on the west side of Detroit. Before having children, Arlene and Bob traveled to Europe for a long honeymoon, and returned to Detroit, where they remained to raise their daughters, Jenny, born in 1971, and Betsy, born in 1973.
Arlene taught English at Flat Rock and Ionia High Schools, and at Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit, where she was the drama coach and directed plays. She taught her students about civil rights and became passionate about making the world a more just place. She later taught adult education and English to non-native speakers in Dearborn. Arlene was much loved by her students and was known for going the extra mile to help them succeed!
Arlene and Bob spent most of their years living in Rosedale Park in Detroit, just blocks from Grand River Avenue. She was active in her church, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit, in her children’s schools, and in her neighborhood, serving as block club captain and girl scout leader for many years, and was a leader in ensuring a safety guard was hired to work the busy intersection on Grand River Avenue that her girls and their friends had to cross for school each day.
Later in life, Arlene and Bob moved to East Lansing, just blocks again from Grand River Avenue, to be closer to their grandchildren, whom Arlene adored. She joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing where she spearheaded many social justice initiatives, especially those surrounding immigrant rights, peace, and racial justice, and she became involved in local organizations, including inter-faith groups and The Mid-Michigan Immigration Coalition. Just weeks before her death, she received an award for her longtime dedication to social justice.
Arlene loved reading, music, poetry, playing Scrabble, playing with her grandchildren, spending time with family, helping others, and meeting new people. She was known for her genuine smile and welcoming spirit.
Arlene will be loved and missed by her husband, Robert; daughters, Jennifer Teed and Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Teed Ording; sons-in-law Eric Spencer and Gabriel Ording; grandchildren, Abigail and Joshua Ording, and extended family.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Arlene’s life on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, 5509 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Lansing. Memorial contributions may be made in Arlene’s name to The Parkinson’s Foundation, The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, or The Sierra Club.
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