Araya, Marlene 79, of Naperville, died, Sunday, September 1, at Loyola Medical Center, after years of struggling with various illnesses, none of which ever robbed her of her optimism. Born November 26, 1933, in Westmont, IL, to German immigrants Hans and Frieda Rahn, she grew up on a farm where they raised chickens and bred dachshunds. She was a graduate of Hinsdale Central and earned a degree from Northern Illinois University. In 1984, she married Fernando Araya, who became her best friend, traveling companion and caretaker. Together the two traveled to his native Chile, to Europe and to Alaska. They also enjoyed quiet walks at the Morton Arboretum and Cantigny. She loved classical, religious and patriotic music and sang for many years in the choir of Grace Methodist Church where she was also a member of the Priscilla Circle. She was a Master Gardener and enjoyed watching the birds and butterflies her flowers attracted. She was preceded in death by her parents and a stepson, Daniel Araya. She is survived by her only child, Barb King (Joe) of Sycamore; a stepson, Pablo Araya (Renae) of Naperville; and two stepdaughters, Carol Large (Stuart) of Naperville and Susana Srinivas (Sankaran "Jeena") of Florida. She also leaves behind 10 grandchildren who gave her great joy and made her very proud: Daniel, Kaitlyn and Dustin King; Daniel and Natalie Large; Priya and Arjun Srinivas; and Leanne (fiance Gamaliel Escalante), Alexandra and Sophia Araya. Also surviving are her siblings, Marian Vimtrup (Downers Grove), Gretchen Hartzler (Westmont), William (Jill) Rahn (Westmont) and many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., Friday, September 6, at Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home, 516 S. Washington St. in Naperville. Services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, September 7 at Grace Methodist Church in Naperville. Info 630-355-0264 www.beidelmankunschfh.com
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Published in Naperville Sun on Sept. 4, 2013