Obituary: Jean M. Arneberg, 86, of Darien

Jean Marie Arneberg, 86, died peacefully after a brief illness on February 6, 2018 in Clearwater, FL. She was born on April 18, 1931, in Hartford, CT, the only child of Elsie and Robert Overhysser.

The valedictorian of her high school class, she attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Following her graduation, she met her husband, Tor Arneberg, on a ship bound for Europe. After a whirlwind courtship Jean followed her heart and married Tor in Olso in 1954 where they settled down and started a family welcoming their first two daughters.

Although she didn’t know a word of Norwegian she learned the language and adopted the culture of her new home. Their desire to live the American Dream brought the family back to Hartford where her third daughter was born. Tor’s business career required multiple moves and Jean was the glue that held the family together. She had a remarkable ability to quickly create a home and make friends wherever she went.

Eventually settling in Darien, CT, Jean became a pillar of the community upon whom everyone relied. Her work with New Neighborhoods and Explorer Post 53 provided a fulfilling role outside her family and demonstrated her desire to serve.

Jean and Tor lived a remarkable life full of family, friends and adventure. Their relationship and dedication to Royal Caribbean led the cruise line to honor her as godmother of Constellation of the Seas. Jean had many friends from all walks of life. Her special talent was to make others feel good, but her true dedication was to her family whom she loved and supported unconditionally.

She is survived by her daughters Elisabeth Phillips (Paul), Marianne Arneberg Gurnee, Karin Hathaway (Michael); grandchildren David Phillips (Tracy), Lindsay Muscato (Brantley), Andrew Hathaway, Tor Hathaway, Juliana Jean Gurnee and Meredith Gurnee; and four great-grandchildren.

A private family service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016.

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