Ronald “Ron” Norman Arndt Sr. passed through the veil to return to his heavenly home on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA. He was born in Tacoma, WA on September 25, 1941 to Alfred Fritz Eric Arndt and Gwendolyn Phyllis Norman Arndt. His sister Janice would follow on November 11, 1945. Ron had three older half-siblings, Carl Norman Abb, Geraldine Phyllis Abb and Clarice Freda Abb, from a previous marriage of his mother’s and had fond memories of spending time with his sister and half-siblings and nieces and nephews.
Ron’s father and grandfather were skilled craftsmen and Ron grew up in the Edgewood, WA area in a home his father built by hand. Ron attended Edgemont School and then Puyallup High School, from which he graduated in 1959. During high school, Ron excelled in the study of science and won awards for his innovative inventions, including an electronic phone directory dialer (a new technological concept at the time) which drew the attention of the local phone company at his high school science fair.
A talented dancer and performer in his youth, Ron and his sister Janice performed throughout the Puget Sound region for many years, including performing for servicemen through the United Service Organizations (USO). Ron also enjoyed singing and participated as a tenor in a small specialty performance group of singers while attending high school. Ron had a love for Barbershop harmonies and he was an active member of the Tacoma Totemaires in his later years, performing and competing across the region. Ron also enjoyed performing in various community and church plays and choirs throughout his life. In his youth, he was also an active member of both the Boy Scouts of America and DeMolay International.
Upon high school graduation, Ron briefly studied Computer Science at the University of Washington and then Centralia College where he pursued an undergraduate education and studied Journalism. He also enjoyed serving as the Editor of the Centralia College yearbook. Ron’s educational pursuits would continue throughout his life as he attended classes at International Business Machines (IBM) and Bates Technical College from which he earned an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. He also studied Electronic Engineering Technology at Pierce College Puyallup and Central Washington University Highline Campus.
While attending UW, Ron began working at The Boeing Company where he met his wife, Gloria Jean “Jeanie” Betenson Arndt. As a Shop Clerk Jeanie was responsible for shuttling electronic components and blueprints to the “clean room” where Ron worked to assemble and encapsulate them for use in aircraft. Ron admitted that he may have been requesting extra parts just so that he could see Jeanie one more time! They were married in 1964 and Monday, June 27, 2022 would have been their 58th wedding anniversary. Ron then took a job with IBM and he and Jeanie moved to California where their five children would be born and they would remain until returning to Washington State in 1984.
His interest in science led Ron to pursue a career in the aerospace and technology sector and he would work for various companies including IBM, National Semiconductor / ITEL, General Dynamics and The Boeing Company as a Senior Systems Engineer, among other titles. He maintained an active Secret Security Clearance for many years as required by his work on National Security projects, including the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Ron had a knack for implementing innovative ideas and improvements in the workplace and his other areas of service, some of which continued for many years after his tenure. In his later years, Ron moved on from those roles and became a Consultant and an Instructor for The Boeing Company and Pierce College in the areas of Blueprint Reading and Electronic Component Soldering.
Ron’s talent and interest in the sciences would be shared with his children who have fond memories of him teaching both his girls and boys how to solder at a young age and helping them with science fair and other electronic projects. The Arndt family was among few who had multiple “personal computers” in their home in the late 1970’s! Consequently, all five of his children have a high aptitude for technology and several have acquired experience or education in that area and have worked in the technology industry.
A man of sentiment, it was not uncommon for Ron to be moved by a heart-felt testimony, an inspirational message, a song or story. He equally had a sense of humor and enjoyed jokes and particularly the real-life tales of adventure of his children and family. Ron loved socializing, conversation and playing card and board games with family and friends, especially Monopoly and Hearts. He enjoyed attending family reunions on both his and his wife Jeanie’s side of the family. Throughout his life, he and Jeanie maintained an interest in family history and genealogy and Ron spent countless hours gathering and recording information and helping extended family and friends do the same for their own generational lines. He was a man of service and could often be found singing at a funeral with his Barbershop quartet or helping a friend, acquaintance or family member write a resume, repair an electrical issue or an array of other projects.
Ron was active in the Methodist Faith in his youth and young adulthood and developed a strong testimony of his Savior Jesus Christ throughout his life. After pursuing the study of many religions, he became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while dating his future wife, who was of that faith. Ron enjoyed serving the Lord in various church callings throughout Washington and California including Ward Clerk, Regional Meetinghouse Librarian, Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Youth Dance Specialist, Regional Youth Dance Festival Director & Instructor, Stake Public Affairs Director and more. Ron treasured his experiences of serving in many callings alongside his wife and with the support of his family. He directed and participated in numerous large regional church and community theatrical performances, dances and large dance festivals in California and Washington including “Suddenly Your Older”, “House Talk”, “Show Boat”, “Music Man”, “King Lamoni” and others. He and Jeanie both enjoyed seeing lives touched both in and out of the church during those productions. Ron often said that having a Christ-like Love for others meant that you valued their success and well-being equal to or above your own. While he will be greatly missed, his family takes comfort in the knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s Plan that allows families to be together for all eternity.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents and his half-siblings. He is survived by his wife, his sister Janice Arndt Johnston, his children Eric Earl Arndt, Ronald Norman Arndt Jr., Marlynn Eugene Arndt, Rebecca Jean Arndt Anderson, Kathleen Marie Arndt Valles and his grandchildren Cameron Norman Arndt, Brandon Wayne Anderson, Amber Jean Anderson and Cori Rose Arndt.
We invite family and friends to celebrate Ron’s life at his Viewing from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28th at Curnow Funeral Home (1504 Main St, Sumner, WA 98390) and a Memorial Service at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29th at the Twin Lakes Building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (31816 47th Ave SW, Federal Way, WA 98023).