Gervase A. “Gerry” Arndt

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 Gervase A. “Gerry” Arndt, 98, formerly of Markham, Ill., Framingham, Mass. and Chelmsford, Mass., passed away on May 19, at the Life Care Center in Billerica, Mass. He was the husband of the late Marie M. (Stoehr) Arndt, who passed away in 1987.

Born in Kendall, Wis. on March 28, 1918, he was a son of the late Walter W. and Myrtle (Abbott) Arndt. 

One of Gerry’s favorite childhood memories was traveling by train to Montana to visit his uncles and a great aunt who lived in a log cabin near the Bear Paw Mountains. He also thoroughly enjoyed attending the 1934 Chicago World Fair.  

While growing up in Elroy, Wis., Gerry worked in a bakery, ice cream shop, and a clothing store. In the 1930’s he also worked in the summers on the Chicago and Northwestern Railway with the section gang, surfacing gang, and steel gang. He was also involved with photography and working at a movie theater. 

Immediately prior to the start of World War II, Gerry worked in the Office of the Quartermaster General (War Department) in Washington, D.C. During World War II, TSgt Arndt served in the United States Army with the 101st Signal Battalion attached to the 24th Corp in the South Pacific, serving in Hawaii, the Marshall Islands, the Admiralty Islands, battles in the Philippines/Leyte Gulf and Okinawa, and the occupation of Korea. He was honorably discharged in 1945 with seven overseas bars. Following his service in the military, he was Chief Clerk of the Adjutant Office in the Chicago Quartermaster Depot, then as Chief Clerk of the Graves Registration Center in Chicago involved in the return of approximately 50,000 military personnel to their next of kin in the Midwest over a two-year time span.  

Gerry went on to become a professional photographer for the United States Government employed by the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute of  Chicago, Ill. as Chief Photographer of Audio and Visual Aids and later at the U.S. Army Labs in Natick, Mass. He was a member of the PPA (Professional Photographers of America). His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, at the Rome Exhibition, the Brussels World Fair, and the Tokyo World Fair. He had photographs that toured England and then throughout Europe, and various photographs were used in several publications including the National Geographic Magazine. He retired from the government in 1973 and continued working at Jordan Marsh in Framingham until retirement in 1983.

Gerry lived a very full life for all of his years and was a delight to be around. His multitude of passions included family, friends, travel across the United States and Canada, as well as a trip to Europe, history, camping with the family and the Boy Scouts, Square Dancing (Square Riggers), Ball Room Dancing, Eucharistic Ministry at church, social organizations, and dining out. His many hobbies encompassed photography, gardening, nature, coins and stamps, and mechanical devices including the latest gizmo that showed up in the hardware store. These interests insured a very active, productive, and fun journey through life. He will be missed by many and we were blessed to have shared time with him as long as we did.

He is survived by his children, Darrell Arndt of Englewood, Colo., Ronald Arndt and his wife Linda of Lancaster, Mass., Walter Arndt and his wife Debra Belden of Chelmsford, Mass.; Sharlene Abraham of Shrewsbury, Mass.; Sharon Gleason and her husband George of Hudson, N.H.; Marie’s daughter Bernadette Banigan of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; a sister, Garnet Clark of Mich.; sisters-in-law, Kathryn Klinger of Ferryville, Kathleen Sawyer of Minn. and Adeline Stoehr of Seneca; nine grandchildren, Jason Abraham and his long time girlfriend Denise Caron of Millbury, Mass.; Jeremy Abraham and his wife Melanie of Dudley, Mass.; Heather Freeman and her husband Casey of Worcester, Mass.; Nicholas Arndt of Chelmsford, Mass.; Jacqueline Arndt of Chelmsford, Mass.; Katherine Siler and her husband Wes of Pike Road, Ala.; Jennifer Gleason of Portsmouth, Va.; Christopher Gleason of Brunswick, Maine; Matthew Gleason of Hudson, N.H.;  three great grandchildren, Nathan, Ryan, and Caitlyn Abraham; and many nieces and nephews. 

He was the brother of the late Marlene Schulte and Mailen Arndt.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 22 from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Blake Funeral Home, 24 Worthen Street, Chelmsford. Another visitation will be held on Thursday, May 26 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Garrity Funeral Home, 704 S. Ohio Street, Prairie du Chien, WI, 53821. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 27 at 11 a.m. in St. Patrick Parish in Seneca; visitation will be at the church preceding the Mass starting at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in St. Patrick Parish Cemetery, Seneca. In lieu of flowers, donations in Gerry’s name may be made to the Elroy Area Historical Society, PO Box 35, Elroy, WI 53929. Funeral Director Paul A. Hardy, Jr. For condolences or directions, please visit blakefuneralhome.com or find us on Facebook. 

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