Lilla Lorene Hall (1919 – 2007): Homemaker and devoted mother

Posted for Week #13 of the 2015 edition of the blog meme 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks hosted by Amy Johnson Crowe of No Story Too Small. Prepared in collaboration with Pat (Arnold) Little; all photos supplied by Pat and used with her permission.

Lilla Lorene (a.k.a. Lorene) Hall was born June 19, 1919 to Wiley B. and Susie May (Wright) Hall. Lorene was the couple’s third child. Mr. Hall was a widower with four children from his previous marriage, three of whom were living in the Hall household in 1920.[1] Wiley and Susie May parented a total of seven children (Lacy B., Thelma, Lilla Lorene, Zebedee B., Eunice M., Lois V., and Wiley B., Jr.).[2]

Lorene met Peter Martin Arnold when he came calling, along with an Army buddy, to visit Lorene’s older sister Thelma on July 3, 1941. Pete wrote Lorene a few days later asking for a date. As described in this newspaper clipping, Pete and Lorene were married in Lorene’s parents’ home on July 12, 1942.[3] A similar announcement was printed in the Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune on October 10, 1942.[4]

1942 Arnold, Peter Martin & Hall, Lilla Lorene wedding announcement; Macon Telegraph 19420719Macon (Georgia) Telegraph
July 19, 1942 (via NewsBank.com)

Pete & Lorene wedding day 2

Lorene & Pete, July 12, 1942

Lorene and Pete moved to their Berkeley Avenue house in Columbus, Georgia in 1948, shortly before Pat started school, and, except for short absences for Pete’s work, lived there until 2007. The original home was modest—two bedrooms and one bath—but it was sufficient for them, their three children, Patricia (Pat), Peter Martin (Marty), and David, and Lorene’s mother, Susie May (Wright) Hall. Pat remembers that a project for a living room/dining room addition took nearly five years to complete. The house was cooled by a large attic fan until the mid-1950s when air conditioning was installed.

Pete remained in the Army until the early 1950s when he decided not to reenlist because he didn’t want his military obligation to take him away from his young family.[5] He started his civilian life as a grease monkey at a local automobile dealership, where he was promoted to service writer and, later, to service manager.[6] He worked in similar positions in several cities in Georgia and Anderson, South Carolina, before he retired.

The family’s lifestyle was simple. Pete paid the bills, including an allowance to Lorene for groceries, clothing, holidays, vacations, etc. The couple often spent time with Lorene’s sister Lois and her husband, James Dorsey Brown (a.k.a., Brownie) who lived at the opposite end of Berkeley Avenue. Interestingly enough, there was another bond between the couple than the fact that Lorene and Lois were sisters: it turns out that “Brownie” was the Army buddy who accompanied Pete on that first visit to the Hall family home in Cordele, Georgia. The couples remained close their entire lives, each celebrating at least 50 years of marriage.

Aunt Lois and Uncle BrownieBrownie & Lois, ca. 1940s

Lorene enjoyed cooking and baking: cornbread, biscuits, and fried chicken were some of her specialties. Pat recalls enjoying programs such as American Dance and Dark Shadows on the television set her Grandmother Hall purchased for the family in the mid- to late-1950s.

Pete Arnold family ca 1960Seated L-R: Pat, Lorene, Pete, and Marty; Standing: David
(ca. Christmas 1959)

Lorene passed away on August 28, 2007 in Columbus, Georgia. Survivors included her three children, daughter Patricia Little and her husband Larry, son Peter Martin (Marty) Arnold and his wife Karen, son David Arnold and his wife Donna, two grandsons and three granddaughters, six great grandchildren, and siblings Wiley “Bubba” Hall and Lois Brown. She was predeceased by Peter Martin Arnold, her husband of 57 years, grandsons Larry Little, Jr., and Ricky Little, and siblings Lacy, Thelma, Zebedee, and Eunice. Lorene and Pete are buried at Parkhill Cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.[7]

[1].Doles, Worth County, Georgia. 1920 U.S. Census. Roll: T625_286; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 141; Image: 186.
[2] 1930 U.S. census, Militia District 945, Crisp. Georgia, p. 8B, dwelling 157, Wiley B. Hall family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 March 2015); citing FHL microfilm 2341476, Roll 350.
[3] “Cordele Girl Weds Sergeant,” Macon (Georgia) Telegraph, 19 July 1942, via NewsBank.com.
[4] “Georgia Girl is Wed to Sgt. P. M. Arnold,” Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune, 10 October 1942; via Newspaperarchive.com.
[5] Based on Peter Martin Arnold’s personal account as transcribed by his son Peter Martin (Marty) Arnold, Jr. Most of the information about Pete’s military service are based on that account.
[6] Polk’s Columbus (Georgia) and Phenix (Alabama) City Directory, microfilm reprint, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 18, Arnold, Peter M (Lillia L).
[7] Lila Lorene Hall Arnold obituary, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 30 August 2007.

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