Born in Winnipeg on January 10, 1932, Arlene was the daughter of Ben and Sophie Cohen and sister to Maxine Cohen Gelfant. (Ben Cohen was the founder of The Jewish Post - in 1925).

In 1951 Arlene married Philip Gruesner of Minneapolis, MN, which is where they lived and had two children: Harold Gruesner and Beth Gruesner Levi.
In 1973 Arlene and Philip moved to Los Angeles. Philip predeceased her in 1990. Arlene remained in Los Angeles until her passing on February 26, 2020 at age 88.  She had four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was very involved in her woman’s Temple group and was an avid mahjong player.