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A Celebration of Life

An individual’s life does not abruptly end after the last breath, but continues on through the shared experiences and recounting of memories of their loved ones. This proves true of FSG El Paso’s Charles Boyle’s mother, Allene Arenz Boyle. A woman full of tenacity, she leaves behind a legacy that her family and friends will continue on. Allene’s life story is inspiring, as you can read in her obituary below.

Allene Arenz Boyle with her family

Allene Arenz Boyle, died peacefully at home in her sleep, after 104 fruitful years of life!

Born in Nogales, AZ on July 16, 1917 to Walter Francis Arenz, a civil engineer from Illinois and Amelia Olea Valenzuela, daughter of a large rancher/farmer in Sonora, Mexico.  She received her primary education in Sonora and attended high school in San Diego, where an uncle and his family resided.

While working at Beaumont Army Hospital, as a practical nurse, she met Charles Frederick Boyle, whom she met in 1940 and who preceded in her in death after 62 years of marriage. She is also preceded in death by her younger brother, Francis A. Arenz, sister-in-law, Carmelita Arenz, nephew, Francis A. Arenz, Jr., and granddaughter, Melina Hanson. 

Allene’s marriage to Charles forged a legacy composed of seven children, Walter (Anabella ), Brenda Kipness of Boseman, MT, Marcia Boyle, Charles F. Boyle (Mary), James M. Boyle of Whitefish, MT, Regina Horn, and Cristina M. Boyle of Helena, MT.  Allene is survived by 13 grandchildren: Loretta, Monica, Walter, Phillip, James, Michelle, Rachel, Dylan, Butch, Bartholomew, Brandie, Rock and Sarah; as well as 16 great-grandchildren. 

As a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, artist, photographer, world traveler, volunteer and devoted military wife, Allene worked tirelessly throughout El Paso, involved with numerous social and service organizations.  As long ago as the late 1950s she distributed meals to shut-ins through the Meals for Wheels Program, taking her children with her, teaching them the merits of serving the Lord in the least of His brothers and sisters. She was an honored member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Our Lady of the Desert, Council 2226, actively involved for 36 years, even baking and decorating cupcakes for fundraisers until last year!  For 15 years she conveyed to the Holy Eucharist to the hospitalized, as a member of the Hospital Auxiliary of Del Sol Hospital.  She belonged to the Society of Military Widows for which she first composed and then read a prayer of thanksgiving at each monthly luncheon; member of the Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars; member of the food share committee of the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless, the Jolly Elders, the Beloved Vagabonds, Red Hats and as a member of the Hospitality Club of El Paso, often helping prepare and serve meals at the Opportunity Center of the Homeless. Allene also provided housing for persons who came to the El Paso/Juarez community four times a year to build homes for families in Juarez in conjunction with the Casas Por Cristo program. 

At her parish of St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, she served as its first sacristan for several years and belonged to the parish’s Health Ministry. In addition, she participated as a Team Leader in numerous ACTS retreats with her parish’s chapter.  

Accompanying her Army Medical Corps NCO husband on assignments to Germany and France, whet her appetite for travel.  In subsequent years she traveled extensively with her dear friend, Cari Rodela. The adventuresome duo sailed on freight shipliners from the Westcoast to Japan; from Bermuda to England and on to St. Petersburg, visiting everywhere in between.  Allene loved visiting Rome, Italy and Jerusalem so much that she visited each 5 or 6 times! Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, North Africa, China, Nepal, Australia, Figi were places she memorialized through her photographs. She particularly enjoyed trips she made to Greece and Ireland with a venturesome granddaughter and among things cruising on the River Boyle.   

Dancing was an important part of her life, as exemplified by the Paso Dobles she paced at the Spanish Club soirees and the light feet she showed off at the dinner-dance celebrating her 100th birthday. Her physical agility was enhanced by visits to the YMCA swimming pool and by hardening her biceps in the gym. 

Friends were an important part of her life, often enjoying breakfast or lunch with Las Guapas.  She reveled in all the friendships she formed, especially with her fellow Catholic Daughters of the Americas. 

Being a circus clown, or some variation thereof, was one of her aspirations and toward that end for many years she often dressed as a clown, Mary Poppins and for many years wore a witch’s costume for Halloween, welcoming Trick or Treaters at the door with her bubbling pot and incantations from Macbeth.  She terrorized neighbors by her unexpected visits and ghoulish makeup. Images come to mind of chasing grandsons up a large mulberry tree and every April Fool’s Day devising some way to entrap one or more in her tricks. 

An excellent cook, her favorite times of the year were Thanksgiving and especially Christmas.  Her home gayly decorated, always featured a Christmas tree surrounded with almost countless, beautifully wrapped gifts. Her meals were sumptuous and enjoyed by family and friends. A stylish dresser who enjoyed life, was always looking to ways to make improvements to her comfortable home. 

Allene’s limited eyesight limited her out-of-doors activities to watering her garden; however, she moved about without recourse to a cane or walker and clothed, bathed, and fed herself.  She made her bed daily and spent her day listing to audio books, praying the Rosary and watching the Devine Litergy every day on EWTN.  Her favorite TV programs were Dancing with the Stars, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. 

The recipient of numerous awards, she was honored in 1998 by the El Paso Women’s History Month Coalition, as one of El Paso’s unsung heroines; she was also inducted in 2009 into the Older El Pasoan Hall of Fame by then El Paso Mayor Cook and in 2010 honored by the General Commander of Ft. Bliss as a Fort Bliss Volunteer of the Year. In addition she was honored in 2010 by the Hospital Corporation of America, Del Sol Medical Center, with a National Humanitarian Award.  To quote someone who composed one of her nominations: “Allene made a difference in peoples’ lives, continually restoring faith in the strength of the human spirit. She continually enriches our community through her personal example and work.  She has left an important legacy to do the same through her children and grandchildren” (and now great grandchildren). 

Special expressions of thanks go to her parttime caregivers, Maria and Angelica. Thanks to Mague for visiting Allene on a regular basis to do her hair and charging a very modest sum. Thanks to Ceci Ochotorena to taking Allene almost every Sunday for attendance at Holy Mass and thanks to Martha Armendariz for providing invaluable assistance in organizing the Rosary memorial.   

Mom, we, your children thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for all you did for us throughout the years.  You were a pillar of support, inspiration and wise counsel.  Thank you for your prayers and we ask for your continued motherly intercessions to guide us in overcoming the storms we have yet to face in our lives, as we continue life’s journey and eventual reencounter with you and reception by our loving Creator. We love you and will miss you greatly.  Our hearts ache, as we face life without your presence among the living.  

In lieu of flowers donations to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, St. Raphael’s Parish, 2301 Zanzibar Rd., El Paso, TX 79925, will assist them in their efforts to provide support to the needy, as well as donations to Opportunity Center for the Homeless, PO Box 63, El Paso, TX 79941. 

A Vigil and Rosary will be held at 5 pm, Wednesday, September 8th, at St. Raphael Catholic Church.  Funeral Mass will take place the following day, September 9th at 11:30 am at St. Raphael’s.  Internment will follow at Ft. Bliss Military Cemetery.

It is evident the hole that Allene’s physical absence has left, but she will live through those in which she has inspired throughout her life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles and his family during this difficult time. 

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