Warda "Arlene" Black Hughes

Arlene was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia because her father, Thomas Owen Black, worked for a gas company and was transferred there.

In 1969, she went with friends, who were getting their United States Citizenship, to stand as their witness.

When the Judge queried her on her birth place, he declared her a Canadian citizen and not a citizen of the United States of America.

This began a process of obtaining her birth certificate so that she could become an "American citizen."

When she contacted the authorities in British Columbia, she was informed that the records had been burned in a fire, several years before.

The only way she could obtain a Birth Certificate was to have three  witnesses who were present when she was born.

She was able to use her sister. Dette Black Kinney Hughes, as one witness but everyone else present had passed away.

Her aunt, Jessie A. Cobb, was still living in Wyoming and she was allowed as a witness, by the authorities in Canada, because she was the mother's sister.

The other witness was not present when the birth took place, but was called to come to Canada to help care for baby Arlene and her brothers and sister. Buhela Martin was living in Pocatello, Idaho and attended church with Arlene. She became the third witness and Arlene was able to become a citizen after living as one for 60 years.

Arlene suffered a series of strokes beginning in 1998 and moved to Colorado to live with her son Richard and his wife Jeanie.

In July of 1999, she suffered a final stroke and passed away July 17, 1999 at Monte Vista, Colorado.

A memorial service was held August 14, 1999 at Pocatello, Idaho and internment was at Restlawn Memorial Gardens, Pocatello, Idaho