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Richard L. Arnicar

Arnicar, Richard L. 04/07/1923 ~ 04/03/2014 SAN DIEGO -- Richard (Dick) passed peacefully at his home in San Diego, California, just before his 91st birthday. Dick was born and raised in Staunton, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He trained to be a pilot and served in the U.S. Navy Reserve during WWII. He married Kathryn (Kay) Gagnon in 1949. He was called back to serve during the Korean Conflict in 1953 and served on the U.S.S. Yorktown during which time the Korean Armistice was signed. During a practice flight the AD-4N Sky Raider lost power before it could lift off and plunged overboard into the North China Sea, rendering him a paraplegic at the age of 30. (The story of Dick's accident can be read at website: www. abledogs.com. Click on "Sea Stories" and then "Too Fast to Stop, Too Slow to Fly, Parts I and II.") After Dick was medically-retired from the military he spent six months in rehabilitation at the VA hospital in Long Beach, CA. He and Kay settled in San Diego and raised a son and a daughter in a house he designed to be wheelchair-friendly. He enjoyed a career at General Dynamics - Convair and later took a job at the Naval Air Rework Facility at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado (San Diego County). Dick and Kay were longtime parishioners at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church and had a very special love for each other. Kay had been a registered nurse when Dick was injured and she lovingly took care of him until she no longer could due to Alzheimer's disease; she passed away in November 2010. Dick had many physical challenges during his life but took them on with much courage and determination. He was very self-disciplined in taking care of his health and he never complained. He was a loving husband to Kay and a wonderful father to his children. He was very generous in giving to organizations for the needy and poor. Dick is survived by his children, Christopher and Anne and son-in-law, Robert; grandson, Erik; and great-granddaughter, Allyson. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on April 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, 1945 Illion Street, San Diego, California, with a reception to follow in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, his children request a donation be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Published in U-T San Diego on Apr. 13, 2014
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