Earl W. Arndt, 93, passed away Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Marshfield Medical Center. He was born March 14, 1926, to Wilbert and Maureen Arndt in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. He lived in Wisconsin Rapids for his entire life except for his time serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He attended Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids; like so many other young men at that time, he left high school before graduation to serve in the military. But many years later, at the age of 78, he and a few other classmates went through the high school graduation ceremony with the class of 2004 and received his well-deserved high school diploma. He rarely left anything unfinished.
On April 26, 1947, he married Marion Schroeder and enjoyed 68 wonderful years of marriage with his dear wife and best friend. They had three children, Jerry, Judy, and Linda. The family grew as the kids got married, grandchildren came along, and then great-grandchildren; and he stayed very connected and involved in all of the family and extended family throughout his busy life.
Earl was a man of deep faith in God. Despite usually being busy in some way, there was always time for prayer and his personal time with God.
Earl had a wide variety of roles and jobs throughout his life. He was very proud of his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1943-1946. He was a proud veteran and had a passion for veteran support programs throughout his life. After discharge from military service, he worked at Consolidated Papers from 1946 into the early 1960’s. He then became self-employed as a small business construction contractor and also as a painting and decorating contractor. He had several other small businesses related to construction over the years. He and Marion established and ran Arndt’s Restaurant from 1963-1968 – that was truly a family business and the memories have filled countless hours of conversation over the years. In his later years Earl did some part-time work all the way into his 80’s.
Earl worked hard but also knew how to have fun doing so many things that he loved to do —- hunting, fishing, golfing, watching sporting events, playing cards and board games, family gatherings, and the list goes on. The hunting and fishing experiences were abundant, and the stories about them got better each time he told them. Over the years Earl was also involved in several clubs and organizations —-Kiwanis, Masons, Zor Shrine, Church Men’s Club, VFW, Grand Rapids Lions, and several more.
Earl dedicated his life to serving others. He would do anything for his family, but he also served in so many other ways. He served as an alderman on the Wisconsin Rapids City Council during the 1950’s. He served on the Wisconsin Rapids Board of Ethics until just a few years ago and also served on several other community service groups. He actively volunteered in church work throughout his life. About 14 years ago, he founded and led a group called “Veterans and Friends Helping Veterans.” That group has done some amazing things to support veterans. Earl was still working on several veteran support projects until just prior to his death.
Earl accomplished a lot in his life but he always felt there was so much more to be done. He kept making a positive difference all the way to the end of his life. Although he still had more to do, he really was ready for that final glorious trip to his eternal life in heaven. We know that he is experiencing the joy in heaven that he has been looking forward to and that he is rejoicing in his reunion with Marion and family and friends that have gone before him.
Earl is survived by his son, Jerry Arndt (Marilyn); his daughter, Linda Arndt Mancl (Don); his son-in-law, Greg Zuege (Mary); four grandchildren, Brenda White, Brian Arndt (Kim), Jeff Zuege (Renata), Jen Foti (Brian); eight great-grandchildren, and countless friends and extended family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion; his parents, Wilbert and Maureen Arndt; his sisters, Shirley Arndt and Myrtle Kuehl; and his daughter, Judy Zuege.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. The Rev. Matthew Bergstresser will officiate. Burial will be at Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home and 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 until time of service at the church. Memorial contributions can be made to a charitable cause of your choice or to the Earl W. Arndt Memorial Fund c/o Jerry Arndt, 1663 Keller Ct., Onalaska. The family will distribute those memorial gifts according to Earl’s wishes.