Arlene Gunn, 90, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 29th, 2020. Arlene was born on August 15th, 1929 in Point Phillip, Pennsylvania and was the daughter of the late Charles and Annie (Fogel) Stahley.
Arlene grew up on the family farm in Point Phillip and was long employed, with her late twin sister Irene, as a seamstress at the Strongware Pants Factory in Easton, Pa. Throughout her life, Arlene dedicated her skillful hands to sewing and crochet projects for her loved ones. These projects often included elaborate outfits, dolls, afghans, potholders, pillows, and, of course, an endless supply of colorful crocheted dish cloths. She was masterful in her creations and was able to execute even the most complex patterns with perfection; but she never let any pattern limit her - in her work or in her life. Arlene was no cookie cutter woman, and as such, was unafraid to speak her mind and do things her own way. Her intricate and colorful handicrafts are a testament to the excellence, vibrancy, and complexity with which she lived.
As a retiree, Arlene traveled the country camping and selling her art and baked goods with her late husband, James Gunn. Her grandchildren were often taken on these camping trips and invited to play cards, to craft, and to assist her in her work by cross-stitching or stuffing pillows. They were always delighted to enjoy her pumpkin crunch, apple cake, and myriad other confections she baked to sweet superbness.
Throughout her life, Arlene was devoted to Christian ministry and was a woman of great faith. In 1982 she was ordained as a missionary by the Christ is Coming Missionary Church, and was an active Sunday School teacher, choir member, and dedicated servant in prison ministry at the Northampton County Prison. While camping she engaged in campsite ministry and led worship services, offering an occasional sermonette. Her church memberships included Second Baptist Church, Christ is Coming Missionary Church, and St. Paul Baptist Church of Bethlehem, Pa. In her later years, she was a cherished member and Mother of Restoration Temple in Allentown, Pa.
Arlene (a.k.a. Mom, Nanny, Nanna) will be remembered as an honest, God-fearing, authentic, and witty woman who left an indelible mark on all those whom she encountered. She was an expert in piecing together yarns and fabrics, but her greatest accomplishment was in mending together the fabric of her family’s lives.
Arlene was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. She is preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, James Gunn; son Truman Searfoss; sisters Irene Beltz and Gloria Fenstermaker; brothers Robert Stahley and Cornelius Anstead; step-daughter Sharon Byrd; and first husband Norman Searfoss. She is survived by her daughters Linda Hymans and Dawn Kellam (Bishop William Kellam); step-daughters Patricia Hunter, Daisy Byrd (Brian Byrd), and Dee Teague; step-sons James Gunn Jr. and Garfield Smith (Shirley Smith); brothers Paul Stahley, Richard Stahley (Molly Stahley), and Roland Stahley (Barbara Stahley); and sister Betty Beichy. She leaves behind a multitude of loving grandchildren and great grandchildren who will hold her memory and her many crafts in their hands and hearts, forever. She is deeply loved and will be sorely missed.
Funeral Services will take place on Saturday August 8, 2020 at 12Noon in her church Restoration Temple 41 S. Carlisle Street, Allentown, PA 18109. Viewing begins at 11AM.
Interment will follow services in Union Cemetery Of Hellertown.
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