In lieu of flowers, Arvilla would be happy to think that donations in her memory would be made to the West Kern Oil Museum, 1168 Wood Street, Taft, CA 93268-4336. Funeral Arrangements by Darling-Fischer Chapel of the Hills, Los Gatos, CA. (408)354-7740

ARVILLA LUCILLE RANEY
10/3/1919 – 06/07/2011
Age 91

After a long decline, Arvilla passed away peacefully in San Jose with her family at her side.  Arvilla was born in Coalinga to Earl and Gretchen Cheney.  She graduated from Coalinga High School.  

Arvilla is survived by her son, Norman Jr., her daughter-in-law Ann, two granddaughters, Stephanie Radke (Bill) and Jennifer Raney, and her four great-grandchildren, Amanda Carter, Margaret Radke, Mitchell Carter and William Radke.  She is also survived by her younger brother, Roy Cheney, and nieces and nephews, Judy Herrmann, Rena Jenkin, Gary Cheney, and Lylle Cheney.

While a counter girl at the local drug store she met and served ice cream to the love of her life, a young football player from Coalinga College named Norman Raney.  They were married in 1939 and lived in Coalinga, where their son Norman Jr. was born. The young family later moved to Richmond, California to work in the Navy shipyards where Arvilla was to become a “Rosie the Riveter,” building ships, while her husband was fighting in the Pacific Campaign in WWII.  After the war, the young couple moved to Avenal, California where they raised their son Norman Jr.  

While in Avenal, Arvilla was Grand Worthy Advisor in the Avenal Bethel of Job’s Daughters, leaving the position in 1970 when she and Norman relocated to Taft, California.

While in Avenal and later in Taft, she worked as an Office Manager for PG&E and retired after 36 years.

After Norman’s passing in 1993, Arvilla became active in the West Kern Oil Museum where she made many good friends and always enjoyed participating in and helping with the activities associated with the Museum.  Her fondest activity, and the one of which she was most proud, was the cooking she did for the local prison inmates who volunteered to maintain the Museum gardens and property.   Arvilla called the workers “her boys” and would become offended on their behalf when others would denigrate them or their work at the Museum.  She continued frying chicken and making pot roast for as many as 10 of “her boys” at a time, until she was 90 years old.
A graveside memorial will be held June 25 at noon at Lemoore Cemetery District, 1441 N. Lemoore Ave, Lemoore.

In lieu of flowers, Arvilla would be happy to think that donations in her memory would be made to the West Kern Oil Museum, 1168 Wood Street, Taft, CA 93268-4336. Funeral Arrangements by Darling-Fischer Chapel of the Hills, Los Gatos, CA. (408)354-7740