DIXON – Following the death of his wife of 68 years, Arnold Forrest Waring Jr. had a picture of Eleanor within sight and told her he loved her still and vowed he would be with her soon. Just 66 days after his bride’s journey to a better place he kept that promise. With his two daughters by his side, his broken heart was mended and his quest to “sing and shout the victory” was complete on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
Arnold was born on December 27,1928, in Brockton, Massachusetts, to the Reverend Arnold Forrest Waring and Harriet Emma (Wordell) Waring. He was one of the 31 grandchildren of Gershom and Emma (Potter) Wordell of Little Compton, R.I. Arnold spent most of his early life in Connecticut and loved the ocean where his backyard for a time was literally the Hole in the Wall Beach in Niantic, Connecticut. He always loved the water. When in High School, The Reverend Waring, moved his family to New London, Connecticut, to lead the Calvary Pentecostal Tabernacle in New London, Connecticut, and that is where Arnold met Eleanor Christensen,in the Chapman Tech senior play in 1946. They were together from then on, marrying at the United Methodist Church in New London, Connecticut on December 29, 1951.
Arnold attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, as an engineering/math student, until funds ran out, at which time he joined the United Engineering Construction Co., Inc. He joined the Naval Reserves in 1946 and was later drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951. (the overlap was not noticed until U.S. Army Sergeant Arnold F. Waring Jr’s honorable discharge from the Army was held up for many weeks while the armed services tried to facilitate an honorable discharge from the Navy and award back pay for time served.)
Arnold, for a brief time was a volunteer fireman, living at the New London firehouse. He once showed his daughter, Amy, the house where he made his one and only rescue – a dog from under a bed on the second story. He was always a dog lover, having one as a pet from the time he was two until his death, save his brief stint in the army. As a matter of fact, his last audible word was “Maggie” as he petted his constant companion of the last 15 years just a day before he died.
After the army, Arnold took a job as a safety engineer with USF&G insurance Co. in Hartford, Connecticut, and was later transferred to Dixon, Illinois, in 1962. He then changed jobs and went to work for the Weller Insurance Agency (later Marsh McLennan) in Rockford in the early ’70s. Arnold and his family resided in Grand Detour from 1962 to 2003, when Arnold and Eleanor relocated to Washington, Iowa, to be near three of their four grandsons. Arnold and Eleanor relocated back to Dixon in 2017.
Arnold was a steadfast member of the Presbyterian Church in Dixon and Washington, Iowa, serving in many leadership and humanitarian ways. He was very involved in Habitat for Humanity in Dixon after his retirement and perhaps his most devoted service was his investment in the building, leadership and perpetuation of the Stronghold Christian camp and retreat center in Oregon, Illinois, from 1963 on.
Arnold was one of those rare individuals who was incredibly gifted in academics and the humanities. Effortlessly, he could solve any mathematical calculation or engineering task as easily as he could sit down and play the “Midnight Fire Alarm” on the piano. He played saxophone, piano, and sang with gusto until days before his death. He painted, sketched, developed his own photographs, dabbled with blacksmithing, handcrafted furniture, carved, spent countless hours (for years) on the Rock River in his cabin cruiser, once built his own sailboat complete with sewing the sail on his wife’s sewing machine. He loved camping and studied the Bible faithfully.
Arnold preferred to be outside and doing anything with his hands. He loved to explore and was an adventurer at heart, always encouraging those around him to “look around,” take the road less traveled. His last instructions to his daughter, Amy, was to continue praying for the salvation of his family and the world. He believed without reservation that God was the creator and Savior of our souls and that when his time came, “when we all see Jesus, what a day of rejoicing it would be and he’d shout and sing the victory!”
Arnold was survived by his brother, Richard Ivan Waring of Montgomery, Alabama; two daughters, Arnel (a combination of Arnold/ Eleanor) Elizabeth Baughman of Washington, Iowa, and Amy Beth Waring Badger of Dixon, Illinois; four grandsons: Zach Baughman (Courtney), Colton Frase, Cpl. Jacob Baughman, and Ben Baughman; and three great-grandchildren: Payton and Jason James (JJ) Baughman, and Adeline June Frase-Davis; and many wonderful nephews, nieces and extended family.
A special appreciation to Becky and Genevieve (just days old) for allowing Arnold to hold new life and affirm that all things are made new again – It was the only thing that made him genuinely smile in his last days.
To Serenity Hospice, your months of compassion will be a blessing forever.
Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Dixon 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27, followed by a light lunch at the church.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to Habitat of Humanity of Dixon.
Arrangements were completed by Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon. Condolences may be sent to www.prestonschilling.com.