Norine Lucille (Bisnett) Arnt went to meet her savior on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.
She was born on Oct. 1, 1928, in her parents’ farmhouse in Keeler Township. She was the second youngest in a large family of 11 siblings. While they never had a lot of money, there were plenty of hand me downs, food, and an abundance of love.
To have enough students to keep Sykes School open, Norine attended at age 4. In seventh grade, she kept herself busy doing the eighth-grade work as well, so her teacher passed her on to ninth grade.
At a mere 13 years old, she met her best friend and love of her life, Lyndon Arnt. They went “steady” her sophomore year. It was the love poem he penned for her and his quick wit that first captured her attention and ignited a 72-year romance. Early on, Lindy confirmed by his actions what it meant to love unconditionally. He walked her home from the bus after school and then continued to walk three miles home.
Norine graduated from Watervliet High School in 1944. She then went to business school because at 15 she was too young to get a job.
She and Lindy married on Nov. 21, 1945. Over 170 of their family and best friends attended their reception at Epple Orchard Inn. A snowstorm derailed their honeymoon to Sault Ste. Marie and they wound up in South Bend.
Regardless of circumstance, Norine never complained. They moved into a small apartment above Lindy’s parents’ house with an outhouse and a kerosene stove. She was a great cook and although she didn’t have an oven, she was so proud as they had fixed the apartment up all by themselves. She often said, “We were in love and nothing else mattered.” That love has been a legacy to their family and for future generations to come.
Norine worked with Lindy at the paper mill until her precious daughter, Sandy, arrived. Then lil’ Joe, and baby TJ came along to complete their family.
Norine and Lindy had strong work ethics and passed these values on to their children. They even built their life home all by themselves in Decatur, and after the kids had grown, Norine spent 22 years working at Harding’s Market in Hartford while Lindy ran the farm.
She loved spending time with her family whether it was in the fields picking berries, making her homemade noodles and doughnuts, heading up north to Blue Camp or to their cabin in Walahalla to hunt and fish or just playing a game of marbles. They showed their children it was never about the grandeur things in life. It was about sharing and being together and celebrating one another – it was ALWAYS about family. And the Arnt/Bisnett family always did “family” well.
Norine’s grandchildren were the light of her life. You would see her at every baseball, softball and football game. She celebrated every milestone they had and was truly their biggest fan.
There was only one thing that could hold a candle to her love for her family and that was her love for her Chicago Cubbies. On her last earthly birthday, she turned 92 and her family celebrated her in Cub-like fashion.
Norine was a fighter. She battled cancer 10 times, choosing the last time to end treatment and be joyful about having lived a full life.
She was a member of the Hartford Methodist Church. While living with her daughter the last 15 months of her life, she faithfully attended services at Resurrection Life Church in St. Louis, Mich. She dedicated her life to being a steward of God’s word.
She was preceded in death by her humble and loving parents: John Bisnett and Ogzena Mary Morrow, along with all 10 of her dear siblings: Della, Bertha, Lena, Lawrence, Roy, Clara, Esther, Wesley, Norman and Nina; her beloved husband, Lyndon Arnt, preceded her along with her grandson, Lindy Arnt; her great grandson, Mason Mizwicki; and her son-in-law, JW Wilson.
She is survived by her three children: daughter, Sandra Wilson of Perrinton; sons: Joe Arnt (Sally) of Watervliet, and TJ Arnt (Brenda Hurtubise) of Bark River; eight much-loved grandchildren; and 13 cherished great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service was held Saturday for her immediate family and a celebration of her life will be held for family and friends as soon as COVID-19 allows us to do so safely.
Memorials can be made to Sweet Adeline’s Heart of Michigan Chorus or Resurrection Life Church in care of Calvin Funeral Home, 8 E. Main St., Hartford, MI 49057.
The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.calvin-leonardfh.com.
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