Ardene Patricia Weidenbach

Ardene Patricia Weidenbach, 85, died at her home April 26, 2003. Ardene was born June 24, 1917, on Lopez Island. Her parents, John and Eunice Davis Troxell, lived for many years on Whidbey Island at their home near Ala Spit.

Ardene graduated from Fairhaven High School in Bellingham in 1934. After attending Oregon State University and Willamette University she graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor of arts degree in French in 1939. She felt she needed more training, so next she attended Perkins Business College in Seattle. Upon completion of a six-month course, she took a job as a translator at the First National Bank in Seattle, but she was doing bookkeeping rather than translating. When Ardene’s boss, of Japanese descent, was sent to an internment camp during World War II she quit her job.

After helping her sister get settled in Chapel Hill, N.C., Ardene worked as a legal secretary in New York, where she met her first husband, Charles Malta, whom she married in 1943.

She came home to her parents on Whidbey in 1947 and worked as a bookkeeper at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

Ardene met Henry Weidenbach while buying feed for her rabbits and chickens at Oak Harbor Feed and Seed Store that Henry owned. They married in 1953, joining their two families.

When the government bought their Whidbey Island dairy farm in 1958, the family moved to Skagit County. They lived in Bow for seven years and Darrington for six years. They then moved to Ellensburg, where they resided for 21 years. Ardene and Henry traveled extensively with their RV, participating in the Good Sam Club activities. She loved the water and living on West Beach. She enjoyed entertaining, cooking, and swimming. She loved flowers and valued education.

Ardene was active in the Grange and Garden Clubs, and was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church. She came home to Whidbey Island after Henry died in 1991. Ardene enjoyed her work as a volunteer with the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. She will be missed by her pinochle friends at Oak Harbor Senior Center.

Ardene is survived by her sons, Charles (Terry) Weidenbach of Ellensburg and Peter Weidenbach and wife Jan of Folsom, Calif.; and Henry’s children: Howard Weidenbach and wife Renee of El Mirage, Calif., Eldon Weidenbach and wife Chloe of Ellensburg, Ray Weidenbach and wife Cathy of Rogue River, Ore., and Avis Rector and husband George of Oak Harbor; 44 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brothers Adron and Con Troxell and sister Beryl Mason and Henry’s daughter Marge Davis.

At her request the family will hold a private memorial service. Memorials may be made to Oak Harbor Senior Center, 51 SE Jerome St., Oak Harbor, WA 98277, or to Friends of Home Health Care, P.O. Box 400, Coupeville, WA 98239. Arrangements by Burley Funeral Chapel.

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