Friday, January 15, 2021

R. B. Arnn, 91

| September 13, 2020 1:00 AM

Born April 13, 1929, R.B. Arnn recently joined his “honeybabe,” Patricia “Pat” Arnn, at the age of 91, in the kingdom of heaven.

He was the youngest of nine siblings. His parents fled the dust bowl, packed their possessions and the entire family into a model-T, and left Mountain Home, Ark., to begin their trek across the country. On the way, they settled in Glendale, Ariz., where R.B. was born. They eventually moved to Inglewood, Calif., where he was raised. There, he saw the love of his life across the schoolyard and told his friends, "I'm going to marry that girl.” And he did.

R.B. always had a knack for making his dreams become reality. In their 70 years of marriage together, R.B. and Pat shared many adventures and cross-country moves while raising their three children, Rusty, Cheryl and Mark Arnn.

As a commercial contractor, the family followed R.B. over almost all the western states, building hospitals, banks, churches, offices, shopping centers and schools. As a superintendent with H. Halverson, Mooney & Pugh, and his own construction company, ARCO Builders, his numerous projects locally included the original Spokane Airport, Hayden Lake Country Club and several Coeur d’Alene schools.

In retirement, he was a man of many talents and interests. He was an avid sportsman, fly fisherman, golfer, aviation enthusiast, artist, naturalist, coin collector, stamp collector, model airplane flyer, winemaker and gemologist. His enthusiasm for life and multiple interests was contagious, and he always had a knack for turning strangers into friends.

At 85, he filled his moose tag, and just a week before passing he flew in the cockpit of a World War II bomber over Coeur d’Alene.

R.B. was more than just a patriarch to his family — he was an example of humble beginnings, honest work and realizing the American dream. Most importantly, he was a great husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, neighbor and friend. He will be deeply missed, but we know his adventures with Pat have only just begun.

R.B. is survived by his children, Mark and Hope Arnn of Coeur d’Alene, Rusty and Shelia Arnn of Benton City, Wash., and Cheryl Arnn Hill (John) of Carmel, Calif., as well as his six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

The family would like to extend its sincere appreciation to Dr. Susan Melchiore for her compassionate care, and especially to Maureen Louvier, whose dedication and true friendship for both R.B. and Pat made such a positive impact during their later years.