In 1923, Arv Luce was born an only child in Highland Park, Los Angeles. She had a passion for art which continued throughout her life. In high school she obtained a job tinting black and white photos in color with oils. During WW11 she worked at Lockeed as a “Time Keeper”, clocking in workers as they arrived and left for the day. Arv met Bill Luce in high school when she was 15-years of age, falling madly in love with him and they were married on July 4th, 1940, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bill was in the Navy during the last part of the war and was stationed in Washington, DC, Miami, New Orleans and Texas, with Arv following right along with him. After the war, Bill was reinstated with the phone company and, over the years, moved up from lineman to management. On their return from Texas, they found a house in Altadena, but came down to Long Beach on weekends to enjoy sailing and the outdoors, ultimately finding a lot on Syracuse Walk in 1963. The family, together, actually built the house on this lot, with a rush to finish so that Arv’s son and daughter could begin Wilson High School in September that year.
They were a fun loving, hard-working family. They rented their Syracuse home and bought and fixed up a home on Savona. In 1971 with the sale of that house, they purchased one of the original model homes on Campo Walk, which by that time was a fixer-upper. Happily it has stayed in the family as the home of her granddaughter.
In 1974, Arv was approached by a neighbor over the garden fence, and the two of them decided that they should form a garden club…Arv Luce and Cassie Mae Curtis being the first two members of the Naples Islands Garden Club! Arv painted every Club member’s name badge with an original water colored flower which are a constant remember of her artistry every time we pin on these badges. Even in her later years she would set up easel and brushes in her front garden and often painted with a friend. She carried on this practice until her eyes began to fail. In 2004, President, Ginny Clark, asked Arv to do an ink sketch of the historic La Bella Fontana and it became the cover of our Garden Club’s yearly roster.
Arv and Bill shared many an adventure with the love of travel all over the world, and enjoyed sailing, camping and the outdoors with her family. What a wonderful, gentle, intelligent lady! At the age of 95, she passed peacefully in her sleep in October of 2018 in the home on Syracuse Walk, built by them as a family many decades ago. Our last surviving active Charter Member, she will be greatly missed.