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Obituary for Alvena Arnett Godbehere

Fredia Alvena Lesemann Arnett Godbehere, 96, passed away May 12, 2017. She was the third child and only daughter of Frederick Henrick Ludwig "Fred" Lesemann and Hazel Delores (Crumrine) Lesemann. Alvena was born February 2, 1921 on the family farm, south west of Tonkawa.

She attended first grade at Fountain Rural School. In 1928 the family moved to Newkirk. Alvena completed grade school at Pleasant Valley Rural School and graduated from Newkirk High School in 1939. She worked for Dora Goodson in Blackwell while she attended and graduated from Northern Oklahoma Junior College in Tonkawa. In Edmond, Alvena worked at a boarding house for room and board while she completed the requirements for a teaching certificate at Oklahoma State Teachers College. In the fall of 1942, Alvena taught her first term of school. Summers were spent in Edmond until she received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and a Lifetime Teaching Certificate. Through the years, Alvena had also done graduate level work at Oklahoma State University. She held life memberships in the Oklahoma Education Association, the National Education Association, and the Kay County Retired Teachers Association.

The first six years she taught were in Kay County rural schools. Because she began her teaching career during World War II when cars and fuel were rationed, for a while she commuted by horseback. Being a rural school teacher meant more than lesson plans, teaching and grading student performance for as many as eight grades. Teachers also cleaned, brought in the fuel and started the morning fire, pumped fresh water from the well, supervised recess and were lucky if there were older students to help.

The last 24 years she taught were in the Newkirk public schools as a first grade teacher. Many of her students remember "Mrs. Arnett" for her strong belief in the three "R's" and showing respect for others.

Alvena and Berlyn Arnett were married in March 1947. They lived on a farm north of Newkirk until they moved to town in 1950. They continued raising cattle and farming until Berlyn became too ill to work. They were enthusiastic participants in school and church events including sponsoring youth groups. They were members of the First Christian Church. Their life in Newkirk was filled with friends and happy times. Berlyn passed away in June 1981.

Alvena loved people. Her interests reflected her desire to do something worthwhile while she enjoyed the company of others. She belonged to the Knitt Witts who were all about needle work, the Mutual Improvement Homemakers Extension Club who work actively in the Kay County Free Fair, the P.E.O. and the Red Rose Garden Club. She also distributed Meals on Wheels and worked at the Nutrition Center.

In March 2001, Alvena and Dan Godbehere were married. They lived on his farm near Blackwell. The pecan trees there are very productive. True to their philosophy of "waste not, want not", Dan and Alvena picked up and shelled many bags of pecans which supplied their friends and relatives with an annual treat.

Their days on the farm came to an end when a cow attacked both of them. After the accident, Alvena's mobility was greatly restricted with the result that they moved to Via Christi in Ponca City. Dan passed away in June 2008. Alvena continued to live at Via Christi until her death.

Besides her two husbands, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Alfred Lesemann, Merle Lesemann and his wife Bonnie Lesemann Pegg, and Cecil Lesemann and his wife LaVerne.

Survivors include her stepdaughter, Beryl Ann Henne and her husband Carl, their four children and four grandchildren, stepsons Bobby, Donnie and Danny Godbehere, Danny's wife Janel and their families, and Alfred's wife Wilda Lesemann. There are also many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Alvena lived all her life in Kay County, except for those few months in Edmond. As her husband Dan said, "Why would anyone want to live anywhere else? Kay County is the most beautiful place in the world." Alvena helped make Kay County beautiful for many people.

Memorial Donations may be mailed to PO Box 468, Newkirk, OK 74647 for the First Christian Church of Newkirk or Newkirk Education Foundation.


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Previous Events

Memorial Service

Tuesday

30

May

2:00 PM
First Christian Church - Newkirk

301 W. 9th St.
Newkirk, OK 74647

Cemetery Details

Location

Hope Cemetery

SE Corner of 31st Rd. and 312th Rd.
Arkansas City, Kansas 67005

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