Skip received his Army commission through the ROTC Program at Pittsburg State University in 1956. He was accepted into the Army that same year and served the next 20 years on active duty and was honored with many awards, twice receiving the Bronze Star. Skip was also honored by being asked to help coordinate the army detail for President Truman’s funeral in 1972.
His first assignment was in Germany for just a few months, then reassigned to Fort Riley, Kansas, with the 4th Cavalry in 1957. He married Patti Mullally in April of 1958 in Junction City, Kansas.
They moved to San Marcos, Texas, for his Flight School training; then on to Army Headquarters at Fort Devens, Mass, where they welcomed their first-born Douglas Arnold November 18, 1959.
From there another Germany assignment in 1960, this time for 26 months with the 33rd Armor Division where he received the promotion to Capt. While in Germany, their second child was born, Angela Marie on January 30, 1961. On May 16, 1962 their third child, Brenda Catherine was born with a fatal condition and lived for just two days.
The next assignment was to Armor School in Fort Knox; then to the ROTC Dept at Kansas State University where he was promoted to the rank of Major; then orders for the first assignment in Vietnam in 1966 to 1967; then to the Fifth Army Headquarters at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where he was promoted to Lt Colonel. The second tour in Vietnam was in 1970; then orders for the ROTC Dept at Missouri State University in 1971 until his retirement in 1976.
Upon retiring from the Army, he enrolled in Drury University’s Master in Education program. Upon receiving that degree, he was hired by the Springfield School System. He taught in a Behavior Disorders classroom from 1978 until 1993. Upon retiring from teaching he remained in Springfield where he enjoyed the surrounding lakes and trout fishing. He was a member of Grandview and Green Hills Golf Clubs for many years and enjoyed playing golf with many friends until Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s slowed him down. He was lovingly cared for at Maranatha Manor and Missouri Veteran’s Home in Mt. Vernon, MO.
He had so many service awards and accomplishments, but his greatest was being a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends and neighbors.
He is survived by his loving wife, Patti, their daughter Angela Pivac and her three children Alexandra and her fiance, Carlton Patton, Grant, and Sara and Doug’s son Logan and his wife, Allison.
He was preceded in death by his son Doug, who died in a car accident in 1996, daughter Brenda and son-in-law Mike Pivac.
Funeral Mass will be Friday, October 21, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2818 E. Bennett, Springfield. A visitation will precede mass from 9:30 til 10:00 in the church. Burial with full military honors will be at Hazelwood Cemetery next to Doug. Arrangements are under the direction of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Thank you to all our dear friends and family for their love and support.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish to honor Skip’s memory: The Humane Society of SW MO. 3161 W. Norton Rd., Springfield, MO 65803 or the .
Published in the News-Leader on Oct. 21, 2016