Helen Ardienne Neiswonger (born October 13, 1930 to Charles and Helen Reilly) passed away peacefully in her sleep early Tuesday June 30, 2020. She was 89 sweet years young.
Born in Pasadena, Ardienne attended Pasadena City College and University of California at Berkeley completing her BA in 1952. She was a member of the Tri-Delta Sorority and talked often about the college days in which she very much enjoyed. Ardienne married her college sweetheart James Neiswonger in 1952 and together they had 6 children. They eventually settled in Davis, Ca and Homewood.
Ardienne’s happiest childhood memories were spent in Laguna Beach, Ca at her Grandmother Nana’s home. As a child and with her Scotty dog she posed for a bronze statue done by Ruth Eaton Peabody which still stands at Jahraus Park in Laguna, Ca. She also often talked about Hilo, Hawaii where she lived in the early 1940’s for a few years with her brother and parents. As a barefoot youngster Ardienne and her brother Stephen enjoyed playing in everything that Hilo had to offer.
Aside from being an avid reader, Ardienne loved to sail and cycle completing the Centerion 100 mile bike ride in Davis, Ca. She loved Classical Music, Opera, Art and Photography. Ardienne impressed upon her children to have open minds and exposed them to many cultures especially in the Arts world.
Ardienne is survived by her children, son David and Liz Neiswonger (grandson Mitchell), daughter Jill Neiswonger (grandchildren Tara, Paul and four great-grandchildren) Rick Neiswonger (grandchildren Albert, Tiffany, Eric, Stephenie and two great-grandchildren), Steve and Debbie Neiswonger (grandson James Ross), Kristi and Tim Reimers (grand-children Julie, Jenny and James and three great-grandchildren), Wendy Neiswonger (grandchildren Jon, Carter, and daughter-in-law Cathrine). Ardienne is also survived by her loving brother Stephen Reilly of Sherman Oaks, Ca, niece Susanne Reilly (family Mike and Derek of Pennsylvania) and extended family.
“Mom’s” Memorial Service will be held at a future date when we can all join together in her memory.
We leave you with a poem from a favorite childhood book of hers entitled Words Words Words:
Memory is a tape recorder
And there’s one in every head
Storing everything we’ve ever seen,
Or felt, or heard or said.
The word, remember, simply means
We’re playing back a part
Of all that’s been recorded there
And lives close to our heart.
Sad thing, sweet thing,
Whatever it be,
The calling it back is a
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