LEROY JULIUS ARNOLD, 79 COPPERAS COVE, Texas - LeRoy Julius Arnold, Sergeant Major, U.S. Army (ret.), 79, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, in Copperas Cove. Sergeant Major Arnold will be lovingly remembered as a patriot, husband, father and committed follower of Jesus Christ. He was uncommonly devoted to his country. His military service began at age 15; convincing his uncle to sign for him, when he volunteered with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. With great personal sacrifice, his service spanned the next 25 years to include guarding every wall of freedom and fighting in every conflict his country was involved in during his enlistment. SGM Arnold lived his entire life by Homer's creed. Born Sept. 13, 1932, in Lake Crystal, Minn., son of Daniel and Abbie (Julius) Arnold. Married Clara Abbott on July 1, 1950, in St. Johns, Newfoundland Canada. Moving to Rockford, Ill., after retiring from the Army in 1976, SGM Arnold joined the Rockford School District to teach Jr. R.O.T.C. He was the Head Jr. R.O.T.C. instructor at four Rockford High Schools over the next 10 years (West, East, Guilford and Auburn). SGM Arnold was most proud to have served with The 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam 1965-1966, where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge and The Army Commendation Metal. His Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service, in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, best describes the character possessed by those who knew him, unlimited energy, aggressiveness, dedication to duty. His bearing was always that of a professional soldier. He spoke often, many times with tears, about his becoming a Christian at the age of 49. Of his Savior he would say "when I found Jesus, I found what I had been looking for my whole life". SGM Arnold and his wife, Clara were members of Elim Baptist Church in Rockford. He was well known by many of his friends as a Green Bay "Packer Backer". SGM Arnold led Promise Keepers meetings in Columbus, Wis., and was a Gideon for 28 years, serving God in the Winn-Rock Rockford Camp. His selflessness kindness and positive energy for his Savior touched all who knew him. Survived by his loving wife and best friend of 61 years, Clara; sister, Mildred Janisch of Beaver Dam, Wis.; brother, Gary Bakke of Madelia Minn.; sister, Twyla Wiggins of Tulsa, Okla.; daughters, Debbie (Jay) Montange of San Antonio and Sandy (Kenneth) Simmons of Copperas Cove; sons, Daniel (Linda) Arnold (Road Ranger) of Rockford and Clayton (Debbie) Arnold of Roscoe, Ill.; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Visiting Angels, Texas Home Hospice Care and Wind Crest Nursing Home. The Arnold family will receive guests from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove. His body will be put to rest in a private burial ceremony Monday, Oct. 17, at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen with full Military Honors. Memorial service at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Elim Baptist Church, 5500 Newburg Road, Rockford, with a family visitation from 5:30 p.m. to time of service. The family asks that all memorials be made to The Gideon Memorial Bible Fund in SGM Arnold's name.
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Published by Rockford Register Star from Oct. 15 to Oct. 16, 2011.