LeRoy Julius Arnold, Sergeant Major, US Army (ret.), age 79, went to be "with the Lord" October 12, 2011 in Copperas Cove, Texas.
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 US 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 "His sword the brave man draws and ask no omen but his country's cause".
Born September 13, 1932 in Lake Crystal Minnesota. Son of Daniel and Abbie (Julius) Arnold. Married Clara Abbott July 1, 1950 in St. Johns, Newfoundland Canada. Moving to Rockford IL 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 ten 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 WI and was a Gideon for 28 years serving God in the Winn-Rock Rockford IL Camp. His selflessness kindness and positive energy for his Savior touched all who knew him.
SGM Arnold is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 61 years Clara; sister, Mildred Janisch of Beaver Dam WI; brother, Gary Bakke of Madelia MN; sister, Twyla Wiggins of Tulsa OK; daughter Debbie (Jay) Montange of San Antonio, TX; daughter Sandy (Kenneth) Simmons of Copperas Cove, TX; son Daniel (Linda) Arnold (Road Ranger) of Rockford, IL; and son Clayton (Debbie) Arnold of Roscoe, IL. He is survived by 9 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Visiting Angels, Texas Home Hospice Care and Wind Crest Nursing Home. The family asks that all memorials be made to The Gideon Memorial Bible Fund in SGM Arnold's name.
The Arnold family will receive guest for a time of visitation on Sunday October 16th from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove, Texas.
His body will be put to rest in a private burial ceremony October 17th at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen Texas with full Military Honors.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Elim Baptist Church, 5500 Newburg Rd, Rockford, IL on Nov. 4 at 7pm. A family visitation will precede the service at 5:30pm at the same location.
Arrangements under the direction of Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, Copperas Cove, TX.