Marylu Arrigotti, 85, died peacefully of heart-related issues Aug. 17, surrounded by her family in her Portland home. Although she spent nearly two years with home hospice care preparing for her journey, in her final weeks she spoke with loving anticipation of reuniting with her parents and the love of her life, Ray Arrigotti.

She was born May 29, 1935, in Portland to Mary and George Dulcich. She attended Cleveland High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and drama from the University of Portland. On Sept 15, 1956, she married Raymond John Arrigotti, who died May 31, 2010. Later in life, she earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Portland. A longtime parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Southeast Portland, “Mrs. A” taught at Sacred Heart School for 17 years, specializing in social studies and drama.

Her own children say they are grateful that she gently instilled lifelong values, such as deep personal faith, kindness, service to others, love of music and theatre, belief in the magic of Christmas and Disney, and most importantly, how to love!

One of her lifelong passions was the theatre. She wrote, directed, acted, stage managed, built sets, and procured props and costumes at Sacred Heart, St Mary’s Academy, Christ the King, Lakewood Theatre, Cinnamon Bear Christmas Show, and others. Highlights included “The Music Man” at St. Mary’s starring Donald O’Connor, who also became a friend, and meeting one of the von Trapp family while directing “The Sound of Music.” She earned the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award in 1997 for her volunteer work with students in speech and drama.

Mrs. Arrigotti had a deep concern for young people who faced challenges with family life, addictions, or the law. She provided guidance and love, and helped them get back on track, and go on to lead successful, productive lives. Several credit her with saving their lives or keeping them from a life in prison. She was like a mother or grandmother to many.

She is survived by her children George Arrigotti, Raemarie Arrigotti, Laureen Arrigotti Schiller, Coralynn Arrigotti Petrie and their spouses; grandchildren Melissa Cellini, Theresa Bettale, Kathleen Arrigotti, Jennifer Friend, David Arrigotti, Nicholas and Zachary Schiller, Audra Petrie, Evan Petrie, and their spouses; great-grandchildren Aria, Wynter, Mina, Siena, Gio, Gabriel, Roy, Hannah and Madeline; many cousins, nieces, and nephews, and her beloved dog, Minnie.

A virtual celebration of Mrs. Arrigotti’s life will be held in September. Please contact a family member to be included.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Mary’s Academy, Arrigotti Scholarship (1615 SW 5th Ave, Portland, 97201), or the Sacred Heart Food Pantry (3910 SE 11th Ave, Portland, 97202).