Arlene Chesson Wimberly

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 22, 2024

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Arlene Chesson Wimberly, who left us peacefully on May 19, 2024 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Born on July 8, 1941 in Lake Charles, La., Arlene was a beacon of kindness, joy, and love to everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

Arlene was known for her warm and outgoing nature, always welcoming family and friends, especially her grandchildren, with open arms and a radiant smile. Her home was a gathering place filled with laughter, love, and countless cherished memories. She had an innate ability to make everyone feel special and loved, creating a sense of belonging and warmth.

Her life was guided by a deep and personal faith that gave her strength in times of crisis and joy through happier times. Along with her husband, she provided a foundation for our family based on love of God, family, and community. She nurtured her family with unwavering love and support. Her grandchildren were everything to her. Especially in the years after her husband’s death, she delighted in every moment spent with them, sharing stories, hugs, and laughter always telling them “MiMi loves you”.

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Arlene grew up in Lake Charles, La. and attended LaGrange High School and McNeese State University. Upon graduation, she moved to Houston and met Patrick Wimberly through mutual friends. They were married in 1967 and returned to Lake Charles. A business opportunity brought them to Shreveport in 1978, where they raised their four children until Pat’s death in 2006.

Raising four active children was both a challenging and immensely rewarding journey for Arlene. Her days were filled with a whirlwind of activities, from attending countless sports practices and school events to organizing family outings and helping with homework. Her ability to manage the chaos with grace and humor was nothing short of extraordinary. She was the heart and soul of the family, always ensuring that each child felt valued and loved, while also instilling important values like teamwork, resilience, and kindness. Despite the busy schedule,  Arlene found time for one-on-one moments, creating lasting memories and fostering a close-knit family bond. Her dedication and boundless energy were truly inspiring, and her children were her greatest joy and proudest achievement. She was however, known to doze off for a quick nap in the Good Times van, waiting for a child or two to finish practice.

After her children left, she filled her time with volunteer work focused on service to others.  Her greatest joys came in working with the St. Vincent DePaul Society and serving at church. Her community involvement and friendships were numerous, reflecting her generous spirit and commitment to helping others.

Her battle with Alzheimer’s disease was met with incredible strength and grace. Despite the challenges, Arlene’s spirit remained unbroken. During her years at The Cottages, she was the welcome wagon and social director rolled into one. Her love for her family and friends never wavered. She taught us the true meaning of resilience and unconditional love.

Arlene was preceded in death by her husband, F. Patrick Wimberly; her parents, Lilton and Lou Ethel (Derouen) Chesson, and her sister, Gwendolyn Marie Chesson. She is survived by her children, Karen Wimberly Hardtner and husband, Jonathan, of Shreveport, La., Mary Wimberly Simpson of Shreveport, Aaron and his wife, Erin (Cooper) Wimberly, of Dallas, Texas, and David and his wife, Jessica (Mason) Wimberly of Shreveport, La., and her grandchildren, Ethan and Noah Courtman, George, Spencer, Anna Pryce, and Frances Hardtner, Emma Hayes and Connor Simpson, Patrick, Kathryn, and Paul Wimberly, and Mason and Brooks Wimberly. She is also survived by her sisters, Carolyn Chesson Langley and Kathy Chesson Fincke and her husband, Andy Fincke, of Moss Bluff, La. and her brothers, Randall Chesson and wife, Sue, of Sulphur, La. and Lilton Chesson Jr. of Houston, Texas. She was blessed by loving relationships with her in-laws, Mary and Joe Palin of Carrollton, Ga. and Mike and Sylvia Wimberly, of Albuquerque, N.M. Her nieces and nephews were a joy and she loved them dearly.

Visitation will be at Rose-Neath Funeral on Marshall Street in Shreveport on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  A recital of the Rosary will immediately follow. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church at 1 p.m. followed by internment at Rose-Neath Cemetery, Bossier City.

Pallbearers will be her grandsons and nephew, Michael LeLeux.

We wish to thank Dr. Meghan Harris for her loving care after Mom’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Libby Kirkpatrick and the staff at the Cottages, the loving staff at Heritage Manor on Stratmore, especially Anna, Shea, and Gwen, and the staff of Pathways Hospice for their compassionate care over the last few months.

In lieu of flowers, we suggest gifts be made in Arlene’s name to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Bridge Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center, or a charity of your choice.

We will continue to honor her legacy of love, kindness, and generosity. Arlene will be deeply missed, but her spirit will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.  Rest in peace, Mom. Your love and light will continue to guide us always.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13