Arlene E. Alden, 73, died unexpectedly Jan. 6, 2010, at Penobscot Rehabilitation and Living Center.

Born in Rockland on April 23, 1936, she was the daughter of Charles and Ida Wall. Arlene grew up on Tillson Avenue, then known as “the point,” with her step-siblings the Nystroms. Arlene spent her childhood swimming off the pier at Marine Colloids.

As a young woman, Arlene worked at Rockland Chicken Poultry for a brief time.

In the early 1950s she married Francis “Jake” Alden. The couple resided in Rockland for the 50 years they were married. During those 50 years, neither Arlene nor Jake had a driver’s license or automobile. They became well known around town, making numerous friends as they traveled by foot everywhere they went. Arlene was known by many as “Babel,” and people would often say, “Here come Babel and Jake, put the coffee pot on.”

A talented artist, she enjoyed drawing. Her son said she could duplicate any picture she saw. Some of her artwork is displayed in the nursing home where she resided.

She was predeceased by her husband in 2005; a son-in-law, Freeman Dudley; and a granddaughter, Tanya Preston.

Arlene is survived by her sons, Phillip Alden and his wife, Terry, of Portland and Wayne Alden and his wife, Elizabeth, of Cushing; her daughters, Elizabeth Carter and her husband, Chris, of Biddeford, Pat Smith and her husband, David, of Wisconsin and Lena Dudley of Cushing; her grandchildren, Meg Sayer and her husband, Ryan, Jennifer Engel and her husband, Ken, Deborah Smith-Weiss, Steven Smith, Michelle Alden, Michael Alden, Henry Dudley III, Jackie Dudley and Joe Swain; her step-brothers, William Nystrom and Skip Nystrom, both of Rockland, and Sharkey Gray and Robert Kelly, both of Cushing; her step-sisters, Lauretta Cushman and Kay LaCombe, both of Rockland; as well as many great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life was held Jan. 11 at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Mt. Vernon Road in Augusta.

To sign Arlene’s online guest book, visit

Arrangements are with the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home in Rockland.