ESCONDIDO, Calif. | Arlene Marie Holcomb, 90, formerly of Rapid City, SD, died June 27, 2018, at Las Villas del Norte in Escondido.
During a snowstorm on Nov. 14, 1927, on the family farm northeast of New Underwood, SD, Arlene was born to Adolph and Stella (Voss) Bausch. She had one older sister, Wilma, and two younger sisters, Louise (who died at age 9) and Betty. She went to country school through 7th grade before attending in town, where she was the Valedictorian of New Underwood High School Class of 1945. While attending National College of Business in Rapid City, Arlene met her sailor, Edward Holcomb, at — of all places — a dance in New Underwood.
Arlene worked for Allied Van Lines and the Balbach Company before marrying Edward in 1954 and moving to Washington, DC, where she worked at the Naval Gun Factory. They were transferred to Hawaii and then to Oregon (where their first two children were born), and later to California where their youngest was born. Then it was on to New Mexico, where Arlene began oil painting. Their adventures then took them to Bangkok, where the Lutheran Church of Thailand became their home away from home and Arlene took up Chinese brush painting. After touring Europe, they moved to Oklahoma before Edward retired from the Navy in 1973, and settled back in Rapid City to be close to family.
They joined Atonement Lutheran Church and loved camping in the Black Hills, exploring old mines and collecting minerals for Arlene’s new business, Forever Yours Originals, which she and her sister Betty started in 1975. Using native materials, they made Black Hills gifts, adding silk flowers for weddings, and eventually expanded into a full service bridal shop, Forever Yours Bridal Village. After selling the business, Ed and Arlene became snowbirds — traveling south for the winters in their RV. In 1999, they bought a home in Arizona with beautiful sunset views of the desert.
Arlene’s passion was sunrises and sunsets. As a child she painted them with watercolors and as an adult she loved capturing them in her award-winning photographs. They continued traveling to Rapid City every summer, where for many years Arlene was the superintendent of the photography division at the Central States Fair. She was also the historian for the SMART Roadrunners, a military RV club. After Edward passed away in 2011, Arlene spent her last six years in Escondido, close to family.
She is survived by her children, Mark (Sandra), Overland Park, KS, Tana (Korey) Jackson, Woodbridge, VA, and David (Deborah), San Diego, CA; her grandchildren, Katrina, Ashley, Matthew, Bethany, James, Alex and Ryan; and her sister, Betty (Bob) Bonawitz, Rapid City. Arlene was preceded in death by her husband and two sisters.
Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Zion Lutheran Church in Rapid City, followed by a committal service at 2 p.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Wonderful wife, devoted mother and oma, beloved friend — beyond the sunset, together forever.