Obituary of Arlayne O. Fifer |

Obituary of Arlayne O. Fifer

Arlayne O. Fifer, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed away peacefully on September 22, 2019. Arlayne and her husband Norm lived in Lake Wildwood for the past 30 years after relocating from Pleasanton. Arlayne was born in San Jose, CA on March 7, 1933 to Charles and Ila Overfelt. Arlayne grew up on the family’s Black Angus cattle ranch in Hollister and shared many stories of life on the ranch as a young girl, including attending a one-room school. At age 6, she was joined by twin brother and sister, Charles and Mary Beth.

Arlayne met Norm Fifer while attending college at Stanford on a blind date and they were married on June 22, 1952. First child Karen was born in Hollister right after Arlayne’s graduation. While at college, Norm was drafted and spent two years in the Army, stationed in Japan. While Norm was serving, they welcomed their second child Steve, also born in Hollister. Following Norm’s return from Japan, college was completed and the family moved to Richland, WA where Norm put his chemical engineering degree to work at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation nearby. What a shock to arrive in nearby Richland, WA thinking that Washington was the Evergreen State but finding sand, sagebrush and wind in the arid Columbia River basin . Over the next 20 years while living in Richland, Arlayne put her talents to work with Richland Light Opera and Camp Fire Girls. She was also involved at West Side Church where many good friendships were formed. Two additional daughters, Linda and Laurie, were welcomed while in Richland, all while enjoying hunting, fishing, and boating on the Columbia River.

In the early 70’s, Norm was offered the opportunity to return to General Electric, his original employer at Hanford and he accepted a position with GE near Livermore. The family settled in Pleasanton, CA where Arlayne again became involved in Camp Fire and the Evangelical Free Church of Pleasanton. They resided in Pleasanton for 17 years before retiring and relocating to Lake Wildwood. Following retirement, she became active with Sierra Presbyterian in Nevada City where she was a member of the bell choir and was active in many small groups. Her award winning toffee will be missed by many! During the retirement years, Arlayne also enjoyed camping, sewing, crafts including pottery making, volunteer work, and being around family. Arlayne also loved music and appreciated all forms but had a special fondness for classical and jazz music. She enjoyed traveling to jazz festivals throughout the western US. She was also a musician and enjoyed playing the piano and ukulele!

Arlayne was predeceased by husband Norm (December, 2015) and brother Charles (September, 2014). She is survived by sister Mary Beth Edwards of Hollister, CA, daughter Karen (Steve) Hinkle of Valencia, CA, son Steve (Sandy) Fifer of Loveland, CO, daughter Linda (Ridge) McGhee of Newark, CA, and daughter Laurie (Dave) Smith of Willits, CA. She has also been blessed with 12 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Support Local Journalism

A celebration of Arlayne’s life is planned for Sunday, October 27th at 1:30 PM at Sierra Presbyterian Church in Nevada City. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hospice or Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (Pulmonary and Cardiac units).

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User