Stephanie M. Arriaga, 35, passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Bourbon after a lengthy battle with chronic illnesses.
Born in La Porte on Jan. 3, 1986, Stephanie was the daughter of Dawn L. (Trent) Pugsley. Stephanie attended John Glenn High School and took some courses at Ancilla College in Donaldson.
Stephanie was a proud CNA who worked alongside the rest of the health care workers in the COVID Unit during the COVID-19 pandemic at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka. She previously worked at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson and Signature Healthcare in Bremen.
On April 17, 2009, in Plymouth, Stephanie married Juan C. “Jesse” Arriaga. The couple would settle in Bourbon. Together they created and built up Arriaga Landscaping, of which Stephanie was the “Big Boss.”
She loved animals and the outdoors, doing everything from wanting to be a mermaid to saving turtles crossing the street. Her heart was huge for all, including her dogs, Bertha and Nikko. She enjoyed fishing, traveling and taking her first cruise with Jesse.
Stephanie was the perfect “other mom” to her cherished niece, Rori. She loved music. She was a tough fighter with a sparkly personality and was loved beyond measure by her family.
Stephanie and Jesse attended Plymouth Wesleyan Church. In her grade school years, she was in a newspaper article for being a girl on the Junior Football League with a prosthetic leg. She was always proud of her accomplishments.
She is survived by her husband, Jesse, Bourbon; her parents, Dawn and Bob Pugsley, Walkerton; siblings James “Jimmy” Bailey, South Bend, Eve Burch, South Bend, and Terry Burch, Buchanan, Mich.; niece Rori Gonzales; in-laws Jose and Guillermina Arriaga; maternal grandmother Constance (Dave) Warren; aunts Robin Trent, Edna (Pat) Riewoldt, Kimberly (Greg) Shortt, Jan Trent and Tammi (Tim) Ousnamer; and numerous cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, James and Molly Bailey.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 10, from noon-2 p.m. at Plymouth Wesleyan Church, 11203 Michigan Road. Her funeral service will immediately follow at 2 p.m. with Pastor Ed Friberg and Ollie Dongell officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family.