“A day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine” was my
favorite of Arlene Walsh’s sayings. She had ready comments about the
Black Fairy, particularly when she got herself into Arlene’s computer
and that “Pluto must be in retrograde” to explain an unpleasant day. A
poet, pilot, knitter, teacher, author and airplane builder, Arlene lived
each and every day with dreams and goals, but most importantly, love
and a great sense of humor. She was life embodied and oh, how she loved
to fly with us.
A charter member of the Rio Grande Norte Chapter, Arlene was
instrumental in locating the women that formed the nucleus of the
chapter. A resident of Santa Fe for 22 years, she found us all and
brought us together. Sadly, while driving to her favorite airshow, an
antique biplane event in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Arlene died in a single
automobile accident in Clayton, NM on May 31, 2007. She was 71 and
truly knew how to live.
Arlene was building a pietenpol biplane. After her death it was donated to a Build-a-Plane project in Alaska, where students will finish it. Arlene would have loved that! The two articles below highlight this project.