Colin Arnold Dies at 92; Service to be Held Friday

Category: Obituaries
Created on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 16:34
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Colin Arnold

Colin Arnold, who gardened roses at his home on Seward Street, passed away in Sitka Feb. 23, 2019, at the age of 92.
A simple service honoring him will be held 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Sitka National Cemetery.
Colin was born in Bacup, Lancaster County, UK, Nov. 11, 1926. As a youth he worked with his father at their garden nursery, until joining the British Home Guard during World War II. He enlisted in the British army in 1945 serving in Germany and India. He was discharged February 1948, and that same year landed in New York before moving on to Canada.
In 1950 he came to the western United States for work. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951, serving until 1954 when he received an honorable discharge as well as his U.S. citizenship.
He moved on to Alaska, working around Fairbanks, then in western and southwestern Alaska doing hydraulic gold mining.
In 1995, Colin retired to Sitka, where he lived at the Thompsen Apartments on Seward Street. It was there that many Sitkans became acquainted with him, as he tended the grounds where he lived. His true passion in gardening were his roses – he loved and cared for them as if they were his family. One he particularly liked is called “William Baffin.” It’s a climbing rose with abundant pink flowers, vigorous and hardy, which also describes his personality very well.
He took much joy in visiting with his neighbors, folks on summer walking tours, and travelers, leaning on a garden tool with an old ball cap perched on his head.
Colin was one of those rare souls who didn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body. He made friends easily as he visited and talked about roses.
“It seems like most of us who knew him had a story or two that has had a lasting impact on us,” a friend said.
He volunteered at the Senior Center (AKA Double O) daily for 22 years, helping with clean-up in the kitchen after having lunch. His kind demeanor was much appreciated there. Colin was so dependable, if he missed a day, the Center would send out a search party to make sure he was OK.
On Saturdays he would visit “his friends,” the residents and staff of Sitka’s Pioneers Home. After lunch he would make his rounds on each floor.
In recognition of his dedication and service, in 2016 Colin received the Volunteer of the Year award from Catholic Community Services.
Colin will be missed for many reasons, especially his smile, the twinkle in his eyes, his kindness, and his beautiful rose garden.