Jeanette F MacArthur
April 3, 1922 – May 20, 2020
Jeanette MacArthur passed away on May 20, 2020 at age 98 at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill.
She was born Jeanette Dorothy Friese on April 3, 1922 to Dorothea Julia Rosemann and Edwin Julius Friese. Her mother delivered Jeanette at her grandmother’s home on Fletcher Street on Chicago’s Northwest side, where she grew up. Nette, as they called her, was the couple’s second child and sister to Donald Otto Friese, whom she adored. In that neighborhood, Jeanette met her dearest lifelong friend Lorraine (Zeller) McLean. She was a graduate of Foreman High School.
She married Warren George MacArthur at the family home on October 16, 1943 in the midst of World War II. She stayed back in Chicago with her parents while Warren was deployed in Texas during the war. Her brother Donald was a pilot in the war and was killed in battle. It was a great loss for the family.
After the war, in 1953, they had their first son, Scott. A year later, Jeanette and Warren settled in the Northwest Meadows subdivision in Mount Prospect in a fine ranch home that they built, partly with their own hands. They were among the founding families of the subdivision and were early contributors to Northwest Community Hospital. Their second son Gregg arrived in 1958. Jeanette lived in the home for 66 years until her death. She was a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect.
Over the years, Jeanette made several close friends in Northwest Meadows. She was an honorary Auntie Nette to many of her friends’ and neighbors’ children.
She had two loves in her life: her husband Warren, who preceded her in death after 38 years of marriage. Many years later, she found love again with Tom Armenakis, who became her partner and traveling companion until his death in 2010. She also was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents, her brother and sister-in-law Marjorie Jean (Beuckman) Friese Downing, her father-in-law Edward G. MacArthur and her mother-in-law, Alice (Osborne) MacArthur.
As a young woman, Jeanette was an office worker for a number of companies in downtown Chicago, including Continental Can and Pettibone Mulliken. She loved the city and buzz of LaSalle Street and the shopping districts on Michigan Avenue and State Street. She met one of her oldest friends, Marie Valentino, working in the city.
She was a beautiful, elegant and stylish lady who was fascinated by fashion and design and was an accomplished artist. She also was a modern and industrious woman who enjoyed the independence and mental challenge of working before it was fashionable. She put her heart and soul into everything she did, including gourmet cooking, baking and sewing. She was famous among friends for her cinnamon cake and “mint bars.”
After her sons were in college, she went to work at Colonial Dental, where she stayed for many years until she retired at age 77. She was in excellent health for most of her life and enjoyed yoga, water aerobics and exercising into her 90s. Her self-care routine and determined spirit helped her appear to be decades younger than her actual age. One of her favorite hobbies was to dine in fine restaurants with her friends and family.
Above all, Jeanette cherished her surviving sons, Scott and Gregg, and she always was keen to brag about the men they’d become. She considered their respective wives, Tamara and Kathleen, as her own daughters.
The late Lorraine (Zeller) and David McLean were her extended family, including their daughter Holly (Tim) Kemmis and their children Kathryn (Mike) Zaruba, and Colin (Erin) Kemmis; and David (Susan) McLean and their daughter Meghan (Justin) Merrick.
Jeanette also leaves behind her late sister-in-law’s son David (Rita) Downing. She was a devoted, loving and kind mother and friend and she will be terribly missed.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Jeanette’s longtime physician Dr. Rajeswar Rajagopalan and her many neighbors for helping her to remain happily independent over the years. A private graveside service will be held with a celebration of life to be scheduled at a later date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Jeanette F MacArthur
May 26, 2020
I had the honor of meeting Jeanette thru Colonial Dental , I did some various Electrical jobs for her over the years . I always enjoyed her telling me about her husband and how proud she was of the house they built, it really was beautiful. We meet alot of people in our lives and Jeanette was one of them that mattered, she was one of the kindest persons I ever met , The world will be a little less brighter without her in it. God Speed Jeanette!