Arlene Bayne

Arlene Bayne

1943-2020Bayne, Arlene

Arlene Funston Bayne passed away peacefully in her home in Edmond, OK, on January 29th, 2020, accompanied by her loving husband Brett.

Floy Arlene Funston was born in Elmer, Oklahoma on August 1, 1943 to Herman and Mary Frances Funston. Arlene came into that family as the middle of three sisters, preceded by her older sister Mary Kaye and followed by her younger sister Sue Ann.

Shortly after her birth, the Funston family moved south as Herman pursued decades of work in the oil fields of west Texas. Arlene spent most of her younger years in Anson, Texas, where at 13 years old she learned to drive around its country backroads. This was one of several early signs that Arlene was more than ready to take the wheel of most any challenge in life. At the same time, she balanced this fierce independence, with abiding love, proving to be the steady center of both the family into which she was born and the one she would later create herself. After moving to Wichita Falls in her teens, she graduated from high school there in 1961.

From Wichita Falls, Arlene made the short journey to Lubbock, where she attended Texas Technological College (later Texas Tech University). At Tech, she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and eventually became the first person in her family to obtain a university degree. She graduated with a bachelor’s in 1965.

In another act of independence, Arlene moved to El Cajon, California shortly after graduation, and started a career in scientific research, first at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and later at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, both in La Jolla, CA. As she pursued those professional ambitions, she renewed a relationship with a fellow Tech student and then Navy officer stationed in San Diego named Brett Bayne. They married in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1967, beginning a partnership that lasted over 52 years, marked by mutual love and care that endured to the end. In the years that followed, they lived first in Point Loma and then Solana Beach, and Arlene gave birth to her daughter Ashley in 1971 and her son Brandon in 1974.

Hoping to raise their children closer to family, Arlene and Brett moved first to Sherman, Texas in 1975; Lubbock, Texas in 1976; then Edmond, Oklahoma in 1979. For the next decade, she spent the better part of her time building up a legendary family recipe box with her new creations, establishing herself as a gracious hosts to countless guests, and providing a wondrous childhood to Ashley and Brandon. She regularly volunteered for school activities and shuttled her kids to myriad athletic practices, which eventually gave way to untold weekends traveling to swim meets and patiently waiting through chlorinate air, rain, or sun for their events. Fortunately, those practices, car pools, and meets also cultivated a crew of “swim parents,” many of whom became lifelong friends.

In the late 1980s, Arlene began a second career working in the Office of Engrossing and Enrolling for the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. At the Capitol, she used her keen eye for detail to bring bills into final legal form and publication, and later managed an office of several women that began as her workmates, but became a close community of friends.

She was a faithful member of Faith Bible Church for nearly four decades. In addition to active participation in everything from dinner groups to discipleship classes, Arlene expressed her faith most actively in ministering to those outside the church. After retirement, she launched into a new phase of life in which she spent her time volunteering at Faithworks of the Inner City and Shidler Elementary School. Over the years, Arlene assisted teachers, raised funds, tutored, mentored, and shared life with several students. She not only taught “her kids” basic skills, but took them on numerous adventures and included them in her own family outings. Arlene also began to work with prisoners both in incarceration and upon release, after she served as a juror on a trial that profoundly changed her view of the prison and justice systems. As she invested in all of these new friends, they returned the favor by bringing her into their lives, inviting her and Brett to their baptisms, weddings, barbecues, and quinceañeras.

All of these relationships grew alongside Arlene’s own ever-expanding family. She welcomed five grandchildren in the 2000s. In later years, she delighted in family vacations to the mountains of North Carolina and the beaches of NC, CA, FL, and TX. On her regular trips to Ashley’s family in Dripping Springs, Texas and Brandon’s family in Chapel Hill, NC she relished the opportunity to connect with her grandkids and support them as they expanded her legacy of fierce independence, endless curiosity, hard work, family commitment, and joyful service to others.

Arlene was preceded in death by her father, Herman Monroe Funston; mother, Mary Frances Keeter Funston; sisters Mary Kaye Funston DuBoe and Sue Ann Funston Oates. She is survived by her husband, Brett Bayne; daughter, Ashley Best of Dripping Springs, TX; son Brandon Bayne of Chapel Hill, NC; son-in-law, James Best; daughter-in-law, Nidia Flores Bayne; and grandchildren Danica, Whitney, Azalea, Aidin, and Adelaide.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Faith Bible Church in Edmond, OK.  Interment will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, February 2, 2020 at Old North Church Cemetery in Nacogdoches, TX.

7 thoughts on “Arlene Bayne”

  1. Arlene was a great friend to Shidler Elementary School. Her dedication to the staff and students will be sorely missed. She holds a special place in our hearts.

  2. Mitch Harris

    Arlene was a good friend and I loved talking with her; especially as I replaced her back door that the rats had chewed through. It was hot and she would bring me a cool glass of water. I got to taking more breaks, just to sit and talk. I was born in Tipton, just a few miles from Elmer where she was born. Thanks for your friendship over the years to Peggy and I.

  3. Elizabeth Pérez López

    May our dear friend Rest In Peace… She had a big heart… She came into our family on such hard times… She hold our hands and never let go… She walk with us on sad hard times always with a big smile and comforting words… With such great Faith and teaching our family that God is always with us… Thank you Arleen for all you did for the Pérez Family… May You Rest In Peace… We will always have you in our hearts… Until we meet again ! God Is Good All The Times..

    1. Arlene was such an amazing lady, I am blessed to have met her. Her and Brent remained mentors for me during the college years since we met in 2001 through UCO’s world within initiative. They were very supportive and had a positive influence for me. Arlene’s kindness, positivity, selflessness and care for others will never be forgotten.
      Truly a godly woman.
      Thank you for everything.

  4. Vanessa Martinez Taylor

    Arlene made an impact on my life just like all the prison volunteers. I was incarcerated when I first met Arlene and she was so welcoming to me and many of the ladies. Thank you for all you done for us. You will forever be remembered. And I will continue to make your taco salad!! My sincere condolences to Brett who also took time out to minister to us ladies. True Kingdom minded people!

  5. Penny Willoughby

    Arlene had a pure an honest heart. She loved with God’s love and cared for others like Jesus did. I wish for just one moment that I could have ten more minutes talking to her the last time I saw Brett and her. You will forever be in my heart. Brett has many prayers from me as he deals with waiting to see her again in Heaven. But Brett speaks so passionately about the beautiful place where our tears will be no more. I pray for all of Arlene’s family. Thank you for sharing her with me, because I’m a better person and mother because of her and Brett.

  6. I was very sad to hear of a beautiful woman that was so encouraging to me, during my transition from prison to my new life. Her sweet words of encouragement during our kitchen talks were brief but meant a lot. I purchased some bamboo salad hands like hers to toss my taco salad at home. I think of her each time I use them. She passed on her recipe not only for my physical life, but for my spiritual life. Her love of Jesus poured over to many women throughout the years of ministry and I am sure many still carry that love. She messaged me of her visit to La Jolla Beach with Brett years ago and loved her time there. I am unable to attend the funeral Saturday, but will go to La Jolla beach and watch the sunset on the bench and say, “Thank you sister for your love of Jesus. Job well done! I will see you again on glory side! Love always, Lydia.” Genesis One Graduate 2009

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