Arnold C. Bull
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AGE: 94 • Middletown
Our Dad, Arnold Bull, finally wore out his sneakers. Though determined to set longevity records and continue to inspire other seniors, his journey here ended at age 94 at Jersey Shore Rehab Center, Eatontown. With our blessings and Godspeed, Dad joined our Mom and began his new journey in eternal life on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Born in Stavanger, Norway to Gustav and Charlotte Bull, Arnold arrived in America at age four in 1922 with older siblings Peggy, Thor and Sig. He lived first in Chicago and then Brooklyn where he met his 'beautiful bride' of almost 70 years, Mary Alice Hughes, who predeceased him in October 2010. A proud veteran of WWII, he settled his young family in Plainfield, and began his 40 year career in water conditioning and swimming pools. He moved his growing family to Middletown in 1956. In 1980, our Mom survived a battle with colon cancer and set our recently retired Dad off on a new life's mission to prevent the cancer's return. He immersed himself in the study of nutrition and exercise and at the age of 70 became certified to teach aerobics. And thus began his second career as "America's Oldest Male Certified Aerobics Instructor", a title he proudly held until he retired at age 86. At this time, he became a published author of a self-help book, "Longevity in Action!"
During his years as an instructor and motivational speaker, he served as Health and Fitness Director for SCAN, (Senior Citizens Activities Network) in Eatontown, the Red Bank YMCA and the Long Branch Senior Center. With Mom by his side, he formed a women's group called "Fun-Time Aerobics" and created an all-male seniors aerobics team known as "The Gung-Ho Guys". Dad's innovational approach to senior fitness earned him a bit of celebrity status and he was often the subject of newspaper, radio and television interviews. His groups were featured several times on national television. His shining moment came when he was personally honored by President George H.W. Bush when he was named "America's Ageless Hero" at a Blue Cross Blue Shield awards dinner in 1999.
Predeceased by his parents, siblings, and wife, Arnold is survived by five daughters, Barbara (Tom) Murphy, Eileen (Anthony) D'Alessio, Linda deGanahl, Alice (Michael) Kearney, and Kristina (John) Meehan; and two sons, Kevin Bull and Thomas (Marybeth) Bull. He was affectionately called "Skipper" by his surviving 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Rest in peace Dad, you have left us all a remarkable legacy.
Vistitation will be celebrated from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 at John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. A Funeral Service Mass will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at the Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Road, Fair Haven. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Jersey Shore Rehab Center, Attn: Linda Stevens, 3 Industrial Way East, Eatontown, NJ 07724. Please visit Arnold's memorial website at Johnedayfuneralhome.com.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Jan. 29, 2013