Arlene Caroline Davis, aged 87 of East Burke, died peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, March 1, 2020 after a short hospitalization at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Born on December 1, 1932, Arlene was the daughter of Clara and Leslie Wilkie of Lyndonville. Throughout her life, Arlene was rarely idle. In her youth, she was very active in school and community activities, including the Lyndon Institute orchestra, Lyndon Town Band, cheerleading, ski club, and the Cynosure yearbook. She married her high school sweetheart, Dwight Davis, on December 18, 1953 and together they left the Northeast Kingdom in early 1955 for a 22-year long career in the U.S. Army, moving 18 times across the U.S. and Europe. Stations included Fort Knox, Kentucky; Budingen, Germany; Ford Hood, Texas; Fort Ord, California; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and Arlene’s favorite, Naples, Italy. Her children will be forever thankful for her ability to recreate a home for them wherever she landed.
Arlene stayed busy with base organizations, including the Officers’ Wives Clubs, a directorship with the Fort Leonard Wood Museum, and community assistance programs. She passed on her love of riding to her family and the community. She and Dwight organized an instructional riding club for the NATO Headquarters in Naples, Italy, and she was commended by the base commander for initiating a riding program and instructing at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. She received her foxhunting colors and was made an honorary whip of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt in 1966.
After Dwight’s retirement from the Army, they returned to Vermont from Washington, D.C. in 1976. Arlene opened DAD’s Daffodil, a women’s clothing store in Lyndonville running the community favorite for five years. In 1981, Arlene and Dwight returned to Europe for seven years, working for Boston University, Arlene recruiting for the University and Dwight coordinating the graduate programs offered across Europe. As the story goes, on a short trip home during a St. J/LI football game halftime, Arlene and Dwight purchased a stone house in East Burke. In 1986, when they returned to live full-time in Vermont, the renovations and expansions of that much-loved home and gardens occupied a considerable portion of Arlene’s time and talent for the remainder of her life. She also remained very active in the community. Arlene took on the task of organizing and cataloging decades of clippings and articles related to graduates for the Lyndon Institute Alumni Association. The Burke Mountain Club was very close to her heart, and she served on the Board as the Club’s historian for many years, again cataloging clippings and historic photos related to the clubhouse, as well as many aspects of East Burke village history. She will be remembered for her decorating skills, restoring original fixtures of the game room, revitalizing the School House, hosting a popular fashion show of family period gowns, and contributing her efforts to annual fund-raising events, and celebrations, including last year’s Centennial Celebration.
Arlene is survived by her husband of over 66 years, Dwight; daughters Faye, of Brandon, MS, and Paula, of Cosby, MO; son Michael, of Westport, MA; seven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
A memorial tea is planned for Arlene from 1:00-4:00 on the afternoon of March 21 at the Burke Mountain Club in East Burke, all are welcome. An interment ceremony is being planned for the spring at Woodmont Cemetery, also in East Burke.
Donations in Arlene’s memory can be made to the Burke Mountain Club located at 368 VT-114, East Burke, VT 05832, or to the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care located at 154 Hitchcock Loop Road, Lebanon, NH 03756.
The Guibord-Pearsons Funeral Home have been entrusted with arrangements.
Memories and condolences can be shared at www.guibordfh.com.