Carol Ann Arena

July 15th, 2021

Carol Ann Arena (Karwanski), age 79, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away sooner than expected.

Carol left us on Tuesday, July 13th, after an almost 2-year battle with lung cancer. Throughout it all, she never lost her hope or positivity. We admire her for this. Our mom was such a character. She always said that she wanted her children to have a better life than she did, and she accomplished this. She adored her husband, Guy, and they recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

She took great pride in her family. She spent her years as a stay-at-home mom while her children were young, taking us to hockey, dance, piano – whatever we were involved in. She was a second mom to the neighborhood kids and our cousins, especially to Stephen’s friends who routinely came and ate her out of house and home. She loved it! Her 2 granddaughters were her absolute pride and joy, and she would do anything for them, and often did.

She was gregarious – and would talk the ear off of anyone who would listen. She was generous, always thinking of the neighbors, person who would plow the drive, etc. and be sure to have Christmas presents for them. Christmas was, by far, her favorite holiday, and she adored all the fuss and cooking/baking surrounding the season. Christmas cards would be perched on the mantle, and picture cards were her favorite, and graced the home for weeks.

She liked her house a certain way, and would dance to the “oldies” while cleaning. She had a thing for plastic bags, and would use them to organize absolutely everything. She loved to watch Dr Pol and Jeopardy, and was so happy when she got an answer correct. She had a cat, Angeline, that was doted on. She enjoyed visits from Pendergast and Meghan, her grand-dogs, and was smitten with the newest furbaby, Dobbs. She loved the wildlife in the back yard as well, and would look for the groundhog and put out stale bread for the birds and squirrels. She had an ongoing disagreement with the racoons, who, many years ago, would go into the trash, and if caught, would unabashedly sit and stare at her from the pile of mess that they made.

She was happiest being with her family. She had always loved the ocean, and mom and dad would spend mornings sipping coffee and watching the waves at her favorite place, Salisbury Beach. Going there will never be the same again.

Seeing sick kids always made her so grateful that her children were happy and healthy. She wanted to donate to St Jude’s to help the families in their time of greatest crisis, and thus, our request to donate to them in lieu of flowers.

For those that knew her, she has left a hole in their hearts. For those that didn’t, she lives on in her children, who, in the end, did turn out all right.

We love you mom,
Cheryl, Stephen and Andrea

Carol was the beloved wife of Guy Arena, devoted mother of Cheryl Arena of Malden, Stephen Arena of Windham, NH and Andrea Arena & her husband Larry Sanchez of Dracut. Loving “Gram” of Syrah Arena and Olivia Sanchez, cherished daughter of the late Henry and Matilda (Arsenault) Karwanski, dear sister of Diane Tomassian & her husband Marcel of San Jose, CA, Linda Welch of Swampscott, Christine Lane of Braintree, Beverly Shirl of CA and the late Robert Karwanski. Carol is also survived by her beloved grand dogs as well as her many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Tuesday, July 20th for Visitation from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon immediately followed by a Service at 12:00 noon. Interment will take place in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Carol’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959


6 Entries in Guest Book for “Carol Ann Arena”

  1. Pauline Surette says:

    Carol and I had a once in a lifetime friendship From age 17 to present we were inseparable and last spoke Monday morning I will be lost without being able to pick up the phone and chat. She was a kind generous and loving person and will be sorely missed. Love you Carol

  2. Raja Choudhury says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting her once in Boston. Thoughts and prayers for your dad and our condolences to all of you.

  3. Diane Karwanski Tomassian says:

    Carol was my loving older sister, my surrogate mother always giving me advice when needed, and worrying about my health issues instead of hers. We shared a room growing up, had the same friends, worked at the same places, and had wonderful times ballroom dancing. My family and I moved to California when I was 25 years old and when Carol came to visit, we took a long trip down the coast to Los Angeles area and San Diego. She also enjoyed the San Francisco Bay area. More recently, she joined us for a memorable trip to Hawaii which became her favorite. We talked on the phone practically every other day, I realize now how dear those talks were and how much I will miss them. I have a big void in my heart. Carol, I love you and miss you.

  4. Valerie Johnson says:

    Though I only knew Carol for a few months, it was so easy to see why everyone loved her! She loved her family so very much and had a great sense of humor. I enjoyed our conversations and our most recent visit a few weeks ago will always be special to me. I will see you again one day in Heaven Carol. Love, Valerie

  5. William Donatelli says:

    My deepest sympathies to my Uncle Guy and cousins Cheryl, Andrea, and Stephen and families. My thoughts and prayers are with you…

  6. Maryann Kowalski says:

    My deepest sympathy to my cousins. I am so sorry I cannot be with you for the service. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you. May Carol rest in peace.

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