470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton MA 01720


Arleon S. (Smith) Waldron

Arleon S. (Smith) Waldron

Monday, October 26th, 2020
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Arleon Smith Waldron
as written by her daughter, Sally

Arly was the only child of Arthur and Leone Smith. She was born December 20, 1925 in Wayland, MI and named Arleon, a combination of her parents’ names. She attended Primary School in Wayland, MI. The family moved to White Plains, NY where Arly attended High School, graduating in 1942 with a scholarship for Kalamazoo College in MI. She graduated in 1946 and returned to New York, working in the Dean’s office at Columbia University Teacher’s College, while taking classes for a Masters degree received in 1950.

She was living in Brooklyn, NY when in 1948 she met Chauncey Waldron on a blind date, introduced by the wife of a former fellow teacher of his. They had a secret wedding in Warren, Vermont in October 1950 by a Justice of The Peace, with two good friends of Chan’s as witnesses, and then had a church wedding in Brooklyn in March of 1951. For the first months of their marriage she lived and worked in Hanover, NH while he resided at the Clark School where he was dorm master and science teacher. When he got a new job in the Education department of the Boston Museum of Science they moved to Boston and then with the birth of first daughter Sue, to Waltham, MA. After Sally was born they moved to an old house with thirty acres of land in Acton, MA. While living in Acton she gave birth to Louise and Jaye.

I imagine Mom had incredible strength of character to deal with 4 children born within 8 years, during which the old house was often in a state of being improved; that is, in a mess. Mom said about it in her write up for Dad’s memorial: "It seemed we were always busy." This is so typical of Mom not to mention how hard it must have been for her, she has always emphasized being positive.

She did find ways to interact with her daughters in a positive way. I don’t remember her playing with us in a physical way. But she always read to us out loud and encouraged a love of reading in us. She took us to the library for books as well as to places to get ice cream cones in the summer. She encouraged us in the enjoyment of music and art by providing us with lessons in various instruments and Art Museum programs for children. We had swimming lessons and summer camp. She tried to help us to do well in school which is never easy for any parent. Arly was creative, and encouraged her daughters in their creativity. I remember that she sewed dresses/costumes for us, and filled an old trunk with old ‘Dress Up’ clothes for us to play with. She painted, and did embroidery. She planted colorful gardens. She always had something near her to read: a book, magazine and/or newspaper, and always enjoyed solving a crossword puzzle.

And she had a really good relationship with her mother. We children spent many weeks, weekends, days, and afternoons visiting with our grandparents first in New York, then in the nearby town of Harvard MA. ‘Gammy’ was able to help with some of the never ending work of raising children, which give Arly a little more time to do things for herself.

She and Chan were members of the West Acton Baptist Church, and she sang in the Church choir as well as in the Concord Chorus. She also was a member of the Acton Woman’s Club, the Acton Garden Club, the Garden Club Federation of MA, and was an avid bridge player. Arly was also involved in Girl Scouts, and in 1974 GS USA awarded her a certificate for her many years of service.

When she and Chan moved to Harvard in 1990, she continued with community involvement, joining the Harvard Congregational Church (UCC), the Garden Club of Harvard and of course continuing to play bridge. She also sang with Harvard Pro Musica, along with daughter Jaye. She was a long time participant in the Women’s Health Initiative, even returning a survey this year. Her husband Chan passed in 2004.

What amazed me about Mom was her unselfishness in looking after Dad and putting him and her family before her own needs for so many years. After Dad passed then she focused on her daughters, helping them in any way possible and always wanting them to find happiness in their lives. She was always concerned about being kind to others, even if it meant not ‘complaining’ about something that might impact her comfort or well being. I think she liked people in general and pretty much expected people would be kind to her.

In 2019 after declining health, she moved to the Benchmark Senior Living at Robbins Brook assisted living facility in Acton, where she enjoyed renewing old friendships, making new friends, and of course playing bridge.

She is survived by her daughters and their families: Sue and Bill Sample of Plantsville, CT, Sally Ostlund and Ross Mclean of Australia, Louise and Bob Carter of Westford, MA and their daughter Hannah Carter of MN, and Jaye and her husband Tom MacMullin of Harvard, MA.

Burial will be private, with the intent of a Memorial Service next year. Memorial page at actonfuneralhome.com
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Private Condolence

Renny Little

Posted at 02:30pm
I was sorry to hear of Arlie's death. I remember her well when working with Chan at both the Museum Science
and the Liberty Council of Schools. My sincere condolences to the family.

Joan Richards

Posted at 09:55am
Dear Arlie's Family, What a long and caring life your mother and other loved ones were blessed to spend with Arlie.
She was a member of the West Acton Baptist Church when your family lived in Acton and I remember parties at your home, and a short visits with her when you father died once they retired to Harvard. She was a very generous spirited woman who volunteered to do projects that she was gifted to ensure went well. She was very kind to my youngest sister, Linda and members of our church. Please know that I hope you find comfort in the wonderful memories you have of her. Our sincere sympathy from my family and me.
Joan (Hansen) Richards

Judy McDonald

Posted at 05:20pm
I so enjoyed my friendship with Arly over some third years in the Concord Chorus and the Acton Woman's Club.
Sending my condolences to her daughters.
Judy McDonald

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