Bruce Edward Arndt (1917 - 2017)

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  • "He will be remembered and missed. Mr.Arndt let me tag along..."
    - Shelley Chapman
  • "I always enjoyed talking to Bruce at the shooting range. It..."
  • "Mr Arndt has lived a long, yet extraordinary life,..."
    - A Mccrea
  • "So very sorry for your great loss of a loved one in death...."
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Bruce Edward Arndt completed his 100-year adventure on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center in Chugiak, Alaska. He will be remembered with pride and affection for commitment to his family and country.
As if he meant to describe Bruce, John Eldredge once wrote, "Men want a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue." The following paragraphs prove that true.
To battle, Bruce entered the U.S. Army in February 1940. World War II found him in Germany, serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army and was awarded the Bronze Star. Recalled to active duty for the Korean War in April 1952, Bruce was assigned to Fort Riley then sent to Korea. He served on the Armistice Commission as a historian and left the military again in October 1953.
Bruce continued his affiliation with the U.S. Army as a Major in the reserves. He went on temporary duty to Fort Benning, Ga., and celebrated his 43rd birthday during Jump Week, earned his parachutist rating and wings and became the oldest officer then to ever complete the airborne training. There was a joke about "some old guy, Major, trying to get through jump school" among the troops and the airborne instructors told them all that they better worry about themselves - the Major was going to have no problem at all!
Always a young man in his heart, Bruce lived his adventures traveling by bicycle, train, boat, motorcycle, automobile, planes and on foot. Even in his later years, he still explored the world as an avid reader.
Born in Barron, Wis., on March 2, 1917, Bruce grew up as a hard working farm boy. One of his favorite stories was about riding a bicycle from Iowa to Wisconsin in his teenage years. After graduation from high school in 1935, he worked both in logging camps and with the Civilian Conservation Corps and had even "ridden the rails" for a period of time. Leaving the military in April 1946, Bruce attended the University of Wisconsin through the GI Bill, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.
Continuing his adventures, Bruce brought his family to Glenallen, Alaska, in January 1955, where he went to work as a surveyor/engineer for the Territorial Road Commission. His wife, Hazel, often remembered telling him that they could come to Alaska for one year just to "get it out of his system." The family moved to Eagle River, Alaska, in 1958, and Bruce began his career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Bruce spent most of his summers surveying airports around the state, greatly enjoying the "out of doors" with his canoe, motorcycles and eclectic mix of interesting cars. He also became a private pilot, earning his commercial and aerobatic licenses. During his free time at home, one of his favorite activities was hiking through the mountains of Eagle River Valley. Following his retirement from the FAA, Bruce worked for the State Division of Parks until making retirement his permanent profession.
Bruce rescued his beauty, Hazel Anne Drake, when they married in Madison, Wis., on June 16, 1950. Quite the gun enthusiast, on their 1st anniversary, Bruce presented Hazel with a deer rifle. Even so, they were married 65 years and blessed with three children.
He and Hazel loved flying by float plane to their lots on Quiet Lake. A life-long gun collector and National Rifle Association (NRA) member, Bruce attended as many gun shows as possible. It was not unusual for him to have his own table, with Hazel sitting there doing embroidery. They both dearly loved their Eagle River home, but eventually moved to the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.
Bruce was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Anne (Drake) Arndt of Chugiak; and his parents, Frederick and Marguerite Arndt. He is survived by his brother, Bob Arndt of Anoka, Minn.; his three children, Fred Arndt of Tucson, Ariz., Marguerite Iverson of Anchorage, Alaska, and Jane Jordan of Anchorage; eight grandchildren, Bjorn Jordan, Brett Jordan, Melanie Iverson Kaufman, Matthew Iverson, Michael Edward Iverson, Christopher Arndt, Richard Arndt and Andrew Arndt; and six great-grandchildren.
The family members are extremely grateful to the staff of the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center (ALP) for the loving care provided to Bruce during his residence, and especially thankful for hosting three separate 100th birthday celebrations held in March 2017.
Services are set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 8th Avenue and F Street in Anchorage. A reception at the church will be held immediately following the service.
Interment with full military honors will be held at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Those wishing to attend, please gather at the main Fort Richardson gate on the Glenn Highway no later than 1:15 p.m.
Religious Service Information
All Saints' Episcopal Church
545 W 8th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501
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Published in Anchorage Daily News from July 19 to July 20, 2017
bullet Bronze Star bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Army bullet World War II