Arlene Margaret Conwell, of Coronado, passed away on March 7, 2021, at home surrounded by family.
She was a loving wife to Jim Conwell, her husband of 47 years until his passing in April of 2016, a devoted mother to Ned Conwell and Lindsay Conwell Stanton, and an adored grandmother (aka “Elvis”) to Bella, James, and Henry Conwell.
She was born Dec. 4, 1943 in Concord, Massachusetts to William and Marion McGrath, and was the youngest of two girls. She grew up in Concord, and earned her undergraduate degree at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and her masters in Mathematics from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She began her teaching career in New Hampshire before moving to San Diego where her husband, Jim, had been stationed in the Navy.
Arlene taught elementary school for 39.5 years, most of which she spent at Rohr Elementary in Chula Vista teaching the fifth grade. She was deeply beloved by her students, many of whom remember her constant commitment to their learning, steadfast belief in their future, and the way she would show up at their homes or out in the community to lend her support. .
Arlene loved her home and the community of Coronado. She served as the Team Mom on many soccer and baseball teams, an active member in Coronado SAFE and the Rotary Club of Coronado, and a volunteer with the Monarch School in downtown San Diego. She also loved convertibles and for many summers, she could be spotted with the top down behind a dance troop or sports team in the annual Coronado 4th of July parade.
After retirement, she launched her own private tutoring business, focused on math and other core subjects, but often extending beyond academics and into helping students overcome personal challenges to reach their life goals.
Arlene was a deeply empathetic person with a wisdom that guided many a family member, friend, and student. She had the patience of a saint, listened with intention, and yet knew when to throw her dry sense of humor into the conversation. She will be missed for her calm and caring nature, her willingness to show up and support those she believed in, the love she showed in the details, her quick humor coupled with a thick Boston accent, and of course her homemade brownies!
If you would like to join us in remembering her and supporting the Coronado community, donations may be made to Coronado SAFE.