Arlene Bruno

May 29, 1924 ~ February 15, 2019 (age 94)


Arlene Bruno of North Bethesda passed away peacefully, in her sleep, on February 15, 2019. She was the beloved mother of Candice L. Optican (James), Lance M. Optican (Donna) and Mitchell E. Optican (Maria). Cherished grandmother of Rowan Traweek, and Adam and Lisa Optican; great-grandmother of Ariel Optican. She is survived by her devoted sister, Beverly S. Travis; her nieces and nephews: Laura Travis DePrest (Geert), and William and Steven Travis; and her cousin Lyle Sheftel (Gail).

Arlene was born in Denver, Colorado, to David Samuels and Goldie Sheftel Samuels. She started at Western College of Maryland and graduated with a B.A. from University of Denver. Arlene was married to Albert Optican, then Frank Bruno and later to James Fendel. Arlene had a very active and full life. She lived and raised her family in the Los Angeles area. Later, she moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland. Arlene was a world traveler. During her travels, she made many friends and collected many fine paintings and art objects. An avid swimmer, skilled equestrienne and fearless skier, she still swam several times a week into her early nineties. Arlene will be remembered by her friends as a voracious reader, a card sharp at contract bridge, a mahjong player and a puzzle whiz. She found joy in music and art, as well as the company of friends and family. She will be missed by all who knew her.

A Celebration of Life memorial will be held for family and close friends at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Montgomery Hospice, Rockville, MD (

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