Arnold was a prairie boy at heart. Born in Regina and raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, his mother, Lorene, was a homemaker and his father, Stan, an accountant. He played hockey for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies during his undergraduate studies, and completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto in 1951. Interning at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, he met Charmaine Gruchy, a young nurse from West Vancouver. They married in 1952, with fellow intern Dr C.E. McDonnell and Dr Peter Marr at his side.
Arnold initially practised in Yorkton, where he coached the Junior B hockey team to the 1953 provincial championship. He and Charmaine later moved to Gull Lake, where Arnold worked alongside Dr John Matheson, who became a lifelong friend. In 1958, he obtained his diploma in public health in Toronto, returning to the Tisdale region as public health officer. Arnold resumed general practice in Moose Jaw in 1960. He always enjoyed the provincial medical curling bonspiels.
In 1966, Arnold joined the R.B. White Clinic in Penticton, BC. He became a school trustee, was team doctor and part owner of the Junior A Broncos, and president of the BC Junior Hockey League.
He became the medical health officer for the East Kootenays in 1975. He quickly initiated an alcohol and drug counseling service, which became the East Kootenay Addiction Services Society, and was named director emeritus for 30 years of outstanding service. Arnold served on many boards and committees, including the AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS), and the EK Union Board of Health.
Arnold was deeply involved in the Cranbrook community. He served as chair of the school board (and on the provincial council), as Cranbrook Community Theatre board member (with several supporting theatrical roles!), and, alongside Charmaine, as an active member of First Baptist Church. He was a director with the Cranbrook Royals Hockey Club and a strong supporter of the Kootenay Ice. Arnold was an avid golfer and curler, and loved singing with the Kootenay Harmony Chorus.
Arnold retired from public health in 1992, but assisted at surgeries for 5 more years. In retirement, he faithfully delivered school lunches for the Salvation Army, imparting many kind words along the way. He enjoyed time spent with friends and family, and remained active in the community. His decades of willing service and leadership improving the health of the community were recognized in 2008, when he was declared Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.
The staff and residents of Kootenay Street Village became Arnold’s new family when long-term care visits were not possible this year. He passed away peacefully with family members at his side—an honorable end to a life well lived. Arnold was predeceased by his parents and sister, Marjorie. He is survived by his wife, Charmaine, and their three children, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
—Keith G. Lowden, MD
—Launny R. Lowden, MD, FRCP
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