Taylor Community Mourns the Passing of Arlene Clester

By Jones-Smith Funeral Home Published: Mar 21, 2012

Photo from Jones-Smith Funeral Home

Longtime Upland resident and Taylor University friend Arlene F. Clester, 66, died Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie. She and her husband John operated the Indiana Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in Upland, one of the largest eyeglass repositories in the world.

Dozens of Taylor University students have worked at or in connection with the Eyeglass Recycling Center by volunteering time to sort donated eyeglasses or traveling out of country to fit villagers in Mexico with eyeglasses. 

Mrs. Clester graduated from Petroleum High School in 1963 and Manchester College in 1965. She later earned a Master’s in Education from IPFW.

She taught Kindergarten through fifth grades in Liberty Center, Bluffton and Eastbrook Schools for a total of 38 years. She attended the Upland United Methodist Church and was a member of the Matthews Lion’s Club and the Retired Teachers Association. She went on over 35 missions trips with the Lion’s to distribute eye glasses to underprivileged countries. She was a full time volunteer, serving as Secretary, at the Lion’s International Eye Glass Recycling Center in Upland. She especially enjoyed spending time with her granddaughter, Harper.

Survivors, include her husband, John, to whom she was married for 45 years, a daughter, granddaughter and brother. Memorials may be made to the Upland United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 11, Upland, Indiana, 46989.

Funeral Service: 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 24, 2012, Upland United Methodist Church, 123 E. Washington St., Upland, Ind. Visitation: 2-8:00 p.m., Friday, March 23, 2012, Jones-Smith Funeral Home, 259 N. Main St, Upland, Ind., and one hour prior to the service at the church.