Arlene Hester

Arlene Cochran Dunn Hester, 89, of Chattanooga, passed away Wednesday, June 18, 2014, sometime around 2:30 p.m. Arlene Cochran Dunn Hester drove her last Lincoln up to heavens gate. After a long, loving look at each of those she left behind, she took off a little late, drove too fast, took one illegal u-turn to check out a particular star that had been named for her (by her husband Herbert Ogburn Hester), then sped in a streak of moon dust to the place from whence she had come on Nov. 18, 1924. An inordinate number of souls were waiting for her beyond the gate, for she had loved countless people in general and her big family in particular. In her entire life, she had never been able to get through a day without making a new friend and there were no barriers to her regard for others. Race, religion, ethnicity, or anything that made someone different, only made her care more for them. She was truly a woman without prejudice. She saw everyone as a child of God and she gave each their due respect. Her parents, Horace Daniel Cochran and Janie Dell Malone Cochran were surely present on her arrival, along with her sister, Ann Cochran Hall; her brother, Malone Cochran and a bevy of aunts and uncles and cousins. Her first husband, Harrison Dunn, most likely had already planned a big homecoming party with music and too much food and lots of dancing. A party where every soul was welcome and where friends like Juanita, Nell, Essie and Vera and too many others to name, were laughing and joking and looking forward to Arlene-time. Most likely, the Father of all was first in the reception line. He must have stepped forward and asked to "see her slides", hear her adventures and to put His stamp of approval on a life remarkably lived."Well done, my daughter, He surely said, with great pride. For you see, Arlene had taken her years on earth and made them into a song that future generations will still be singing for a long time to come. Born in Atlanta, she spent her formative years in her ancestral community, Sugar Valley, Georgia. She graduated, from Central High School in Chattanooga and with no silver tray opportunities, she began working behind the candy counter at Woolworths in downtown Chattanooga. Thats where Harrison Dunn, of Tellico Plains, Tenn., discovered her, his "million dollar baby, and the years of their marriage spread out like a novel that started with struggle and ended in success with plenty of why nots in between. They had two children, Harrison David and Pamela Arlene. As a mother, Arlene had no equal, she quoted Shakespeare to her children, read to them, made sure every meal was balanced with color from the food pyramid, and exposed them to music, art, good manners, correct grammar, and to her life long advocation of doing-good. Beyond mouthing Jesus words, her family played them out in living color, always helping the helpless, visiting the lonely, caring for the least of these and giving more than their share, without hesitation. They loved their country, flew their flag, paid their taxes with pride, tithed to their church, and stood steadfast for their beliefs. Arlene was an avid golfer, a voracious reader, a lover of opera, the Chattanooga Symphony and any kind of music, played in most any fashion. She was a beautiful woman, a stylish dresser and she loved her Picketts shoes. She was Independence Day with out the fireworks, living as she chose, traveling globally and when she lost Harrison in 1984 she kept on doing, being and traveling. She was a devoted Contact worker from its founding. She continued serving the needy of her community with a quiet grace and was a beloved Sunday School teacher of adult women at Ridgeview Baptist Church and later organized and led the "Prime-timers" at New Hope Presbyterian Church. She and her sisters ... often referred to with a chuckle as "THE Four Sisters" .... enjoyed trips abroad, summers at the beach, cross-country road trips and more shopping excursions than one could count. Barbara Cochran Justice of Chattanooga and June Cochran Nix of Dalton remain. Arlene was married to Harrison A. Dunn in 1943 and was fortunate in both marriages. Some years after Harrisons death, on Easter week in 1984, Arlene met and married Herbert Ogburn Hester a former Air Force pilot, originally from Florence, Alabama. They shared a love of travel, music, reading and enjoyed over twenty years of rich life together. At the end of Arlenes time on earth ....Herb became an unexcelled care giver, watching over her with gentle love. From the birth of her first child, David, Arlene was a devoted mother. But as a grandmother, she was something to behold. She treasured each grandchild and later her great-grandchildren with unconditional admiration, keeping up with their activities and showering them with encouragement. Arlenes son, David, and Carol Brock Dunn, have two daughters, Kristi, who is married to Brice Long and Michele who is married to Aaron Roach. Both girls live in Chattanooga and Michele and Aaron have one son, Austin Roach. David is currently married to Daniela Dunn. and lives in Chattanooga. Arlenes daughter, Pamela and her husband Dr. David Kidd, of Nashville, Tennessee, have two children. Their son Brock Kidd is married to Corinne Barfield Kidd, and has three offspring, Harrison, Mary Katherine and Ella Grace. Their daughter Keri Kidd Cannon is married to Dr. Ben Cannon and they are the parents of Abby and Charles Cannon. Her children, grand and great grandchildren will remember her by continuing to sing her song of generosity and inclusiveness and love for humankind. Recently, as she considered the possibility of death, she wrote, "How could my life have been so blessed? Only through God!" Today, as her husband, her children, her grand and great grandchildren, her sisters, nieces, nephews and friends rise up and call her blessed , just how do we find a way to say good bye ... for a while? Arlene (Bebe) would have a quick answer for us all: "Go out and do something good", she would say. Now, we look out to the horizon and far beyond the stars. The ground below our feet trembles and we know that the whole earth has shifted a bit toward good because she used her season here to make it so. Her work on earth is finished. Arlene Bebe Hester, wife mother friend and beloved daughter of God in Heaven, has returned to her one true home. It is very good. Arlenes family would like to specifically thank the staff at Erlanger Hospital in the 2nd floor ICU, and on the 7th floor, for their incredible loving kindness to our beloved wife, mother, grand and great-grandmother during her last days on earth... with special thanks to the Hospice angel, who guided her through to the other side. And also, a very heartfelt note of appreciation to her caregiver, Brandi Sturdivant. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the New Hope Presbyterian Church, 7301 Shallowford Road with Dr. David Kidd officiating. The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. today at the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home and again from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday at the church. Please share your memories at: Arrangements are by the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 404 S. M

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