Arlene Erma Thomas1918–2016

Arlene Erma Thomas of Waterville passed away on Feb. 9, 2016, at age 97. She was born on March 25, 1918, on the family homestead in Bellshill, Alberta, where her father was a wheat farmer and baseball pitcher for Calgary-Edmonton. She had five siblings: Verl Ewing, Clarice Larson, Leatha Stokes, Lois Hopewell and Shirley Preugschat, all deceased.

Her parents, Ralph Gideon Ewing and Nola Celesta Ogle, returned to Waterville in 1922 where she attended and graduated high school in 1934. Arlene then graduated from Wenatchee Valley Business College.

She started her working career as an insurance agent in Omak, where she met and then married Charles N. “Audy” Peters (deceased) of Twisp in 1939. They made their home at what is now the Dorn Ranch on Peters Road in Twisp. They raised two children, Charlene Marie Peters McFarland (deceased) and Charles Nicholas “Nick” Peters Jr.

Arlene worked in Audy and Bud Peters’ business, The Twisp Mercantile, then moved on as secretary to Otto Wagner at the Twisp Wagner Lumber Co., then Pend Oreille Mining Co. (Metaline Falls). When the president of Pend Oreille Mining Co. visited the mill on business he was so impressed with Arlene that he hired her as his executive secretary. After six months on the new job the president of Potlatch Corporation of Lewiston, Idaho, while visiting Pend Oreille Mining, was also impressed and hired Arlene as his executive secretary, moving the family to Lewiston. Arlene worked for 20 more years as executive secretary and then comptroller, managing the company reports and payroll for its 29 mills and 6,500 employees.

Arlene was camping on vacation in the woods by headquarters in Idaho, and Potlatch sent the woods crew looking for her and took her back to Lewiston to fix a computer payroll problem. After solving the problem she was delivered back to the campsite the next day.

When Arlene moved to Lewiston to work for Potlatch, she met and married Raymond K. Sletager (deceased 1969) and had a daughter, Holli Rae Sletager, in 1960. She later married Oran Levi Thomas (deceased).

Her favorite things were camping in the woods, swimming, playing cards and spending time with friends and family.

Arlene is survived by her children Holli Rae Sletager Givens (Bucoda, Washington) and Nick Peters (Waterville); nephews Les Stokes (Carlton), Loren Larson (Bremerton), Dave (Lynnwood) and Gary Preugschat (Arizona); and nieces Paula Stokes (Twisp), Sherry Stokes Svarverude (Vancouver, Washington), Joy Omlid (Stanwood, Washington) and Gay Baxter (Everett). She is also survived by grandchildren Brook Peters (West Seattle), Gabriel and Autumn Givens (Bucoda), Tonia McFarland Lloyd (Gig Harbor, Washington), Kelly McFarland (Prescott, Arizona) and four great-grandchildren.

Due to weather and road conditions there will be a memorial and celebration of life in the spring. The date will be announced. Contact for details and questions.

You can find the complete original obituary on this website.

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