Former resident Arnold R. Sandness dies at 89


Arnold R. Sandness

Arnold "Arnie" R. Sandness, 89, passed away on March 23, 2024.

His celebration of life was held April 25 in Sun City West Christian Church, Sun City West, Arizona.

Arnie was born on Aug. 28, 1934, in Bellingham, Washington, to John and Randi Sandness.

He graduated from Bellingham High School in 1952, while serving in the Army reserves before attending Western Washington State College of Education. He served in the Naval Reserve Combat Battalion in Bremerton from 1953-1957.

He was a mechanical engineer for the Department of Defense for 34 years, starting at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton and later as supervisor of ship building at Sand Point in Seattle. He transferred to the Naval Sea Systems Command in Bremerton and later retired out of PSNS.

Arnie built five houses - four in Washington state and the last one in Wrangell, where he and Kathy spent 25 years. However, they did escape the winter cold to southern states and Mexico in their RV.

After selling their boat and home in Alaska, they took advantage of a senior citizen program in Duluth, Minnesota, and Logan, Utah, where the universities would rent student dorm rooms and apartments to senior citizens during the summer months when the students were on break. They spent the past six summers in Star Valley, Wyoming, in their summer RV home.

Arnie eagerly accepted every challenge he encountered in life. He was also involved with teaching Bible studies in Bremerton and was a member of the Elks Lodge for 36 years. He enjoyed fishing for salmon and halibut, playing golf and traveling.

He gave 34 years to the Department of Defense and mentioned to his captain that he wanted 34 years of retirement. He got 34 years and six months. One of favorite sayings was, "I thank God for the life he gave me," his family wrote.

He is preceded in death by sisters Ruth, June and Doris; brother Adolf, who died at sea; and twin siblings, Raymond and Ruth, who died at 6 months of age.

He is survived Katherine (Kathy) Sandness, his wife of 38 years; sons Kenneth (Joyce) and Gregory (Leigh) Sandness; daughter, Jeannette (Paul) Towery; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


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