Obituary: Vigdis “Disa” Arnone
October 1, 2014
Vigdis "Disa" Arnone, born in Keflavik, Iceland, on Aug. 3, 1938, to the late Inga Nilsen and Helgi Kristinsson, went home in peace to be with the Lord on Aug. 4, 2014, after a brief health struggle. She has been a resident of Truckee since 2007.
As a teenager in Iceland, Disa sang jazz with the US Air Force band, where she met her future husband, saxophone player Charles J. Arnone. Charles brought Disa to Sacramento, Calif., in 1955, where they started their family of three children. Disa shared with everyone her deep love of America and its people. She told childhood stories of the kind American servicemen who gave her and her friends candy and comic books, which is how she began to learn English.
She always felt so fortunate to live in this very special country. Disa was a true patriot, becoming a U.S. citizen in September 1996. In addition, she was extremely thrilled last summer for the opportunity to explore Mount Vernon, Monticello and Washington DC while visiting her daughter in Virginia. Becoming a single mother while her children were of school age, much of Disa's life was spent working tirelessly for the welfare of her children.
Disa had a servant's heart, and worked as a restaurant server for over 40 years. Throughout that time, countless customers requested her tables and expressed their gratitude for her excellent service. She was finally able to retire at the age of 68 from her last position at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno, Nev. Since that time, she has lived in Truckee, enjoying life in the mountains near family, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Disa adored animals, always with one or two treasured cats by her side. She was at times a regular volunteer at the Truckee Humane Society and enjoyed watching the many wild birds on her deck come for the seed she offered. Disa also cherished long walks and caring for the dogs of family and friends.
Disa pursued many interests throughout her life. She was a talented artist who enjoyed painting landscapes, especially of her beloved Iceland. She was also a veracious reader, often visiting many area bookshops and was especially fond of books chronicling Hollywood, the Movie Industry, and the stars of the golden age. Fitness was also a lifelong passion for Disa. Her children remember her every day workouts with Jack LaLanne in the years before she became an actual gym instructress, now termed "personal trainers." After raising her family, Disa travelled throughout Europe and lived in Belgium for a number of years as she followed the jazz music scene.
What all of Disa's family members, many friends and acquaintances remember about her is that she was a loving, generous and loyal friend to all. As a woman of faith, she gave from her need with love. She made all things special for others, adding glitter, stickers and embellishments on the greeting cards she enjoyed sending. Disa was very sentimental, keeping many mementos from those friends and relatives she dearly loved. She was a strong, free spirit, much like the Icelandic ponies of her homeland.
Disa is survived by her three children, eldest daughter and former Truckee resident Helen Davis (Prentiss) of Midlothian, Virg., Pamela Arnone Read (Dennis) of Spokane, Wash., and son Michael Arnone (Toni) of Reno, Nev.; her granddaughter Catrina Padellford (Bryce) of Waipahu, Hawaii, grand-sons Shane and Nicholas Arnone of Reno, Nev.; sister Elvina Dolce of Burbank, Calif., and brother Johann Helgason (Gudrun Einarsdottir) of Reykjavik, Iceland.
Disa returned to her maker the morning after her 76th birthday, a Sunday spent with loving friends and relatives, enjoying Icelandic Ponnukokurs (pancakes) and watching old home movies. Her loving family, dedicated lifelong friends and recent caregivers will all miss her deeply. Disa will be taken back to Iceland to rest with family who passed before her. For more information, call Helen Davis at (530) 386-4553.