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Bernard Percy Arnold

Arnold

Ignacio resident Bernard Percy Arnold died after a two-year battle with pancreatic and bladder cancer Saturday, April 6, 2013, at his home. He was 68.

Known as “Bernie,” he was born to Walter and Rena Arnold on Dec. 11, 1944, in Stonehouse, Great Britain.

He immigrated to Canada with his family when he was 7, and later to the United States. Mr. Arnold spent most of his childhood in Long Beach, Calif., where his passion for flying and aircraft was born.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1964. That same year, he married Virginia Carol Erickson in Long Beach.

Mr. Arnold also loved to sail, and when his kids were small, he built his own sailboat.

He spent his life as an aircraft mechanic and private pilot, first with Pan American World Airways, then with Douglas Aircraft Co., continuing on to work at others as companies sold. He spent his last 20 years mainly working on small aircraft locally with his own company, Bent Propeller Aviation, and taking joy in flying his Cessna 210, his family said.

Mr. Arnold first moved to Durango in 1979 with his wife and two children, living here until 1985. The marriage later ended in divorce.

Mr. Arnold returned to Southwest Colorado in 1993 and married Kathleen Mary Todd in 1994 in Ignacio. The couple fulfilled a life dream of building their own home in Ignacio.

In recent years, Mr. Arnold was involved in Four Corners Back Country Horsemen, and loved to go riding and horse camping. He also enjoyed country dancing.

“He is remembered as always having a positive outlook, a willing, helping hand, and he was beloved by family and friends,” his family said.

Mr. Arnold was preceded in death by his former wife, Virginia Erickson.

He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Kathleen Arnold; children John Arnold of Mesa, Ariz., and Kris Jeter of Wittman, Ariz.; stepdaughters Jennifer Kopp of Larkspur and Megan Smith of Fountain; brother, Robin Arnold, of Apple Valley, Calif.; sisters Jane Corbett and Angela Bridge, both of Hemet, Calif.; and 10 grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2013 at his home.

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