Robert Leigh Arnold


In loving memory of Robert Leigh Arnold: 

Robert is son of James Ven Arnold Jr. and Helen Gertrude Dean and brother to Jackie Weddle. Robert Leigh Arnold, “Bob,” a beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and esteemed member of the community, peacefully departed from this world on Aug. 6 in the comfort of his home in Pagosa Springs, Colo., at the age of 83. Born in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, Calif., in 1940, Robert’s journey through life was marked by dedication, service and a profound love for his family. 

In 1959, Robert felt a deep calling to serve his country and with unwavering patriotism, he enlisted in the Army. He served with utmost dedication as a member of the security agency and as a military policeman with Menwith Hill, stationed in England. Robert demonstrated exceptional commitment and honor in safeguarding his fellow soldiers and protecting the values he held dear. It was during his time stationed in England that Robert’s life took a beautiful turn and brought him face-to-face with his soulmate, Joan Mary Smith. Their connection blossomed into a love that they shared for 61 incredible years together. Together, they journeyed through life’s joys and challenges, creating a profound bond that was the foundation of their family’s happiness. 

Robert and Joan were blessed with two children, Cheri Arnold (Ortega) and Shaun Arnold, who brought immeasurable happiness and pride to their lives. As a father, Robert was a pillar of strength and guidance, always providing unwavering support and unconditional love. His legacy of wisdom, kindness and the values he instilled in them will forever shape their families lives. 

Robert delighted from being an adoring grandfather to his and Joan’s four grandchildren: Brandon Ortega, Dylan Ortega, Kelsi Arnold (Beaver) and Caitlinn Arnold (McCullah). Their laughter and playful spirit brought immeasurable happiness to his heart, and he cherished each precious moment spent with them. Robert’s legacy of love and influence will continue to shine through them as they carry his memory forward. 

In 1993, Robert and Joan relocated to Pagosa Springs, where they found a true sense of belonging in the community. Robert actively participated in Veterans for Veterans in Archuleta County, dedicating his time to supporting his fellow servicemen and women. His commitment to serving others extended beyond his military career, as he spent 29 years with the United States Postal Service, retiring in 1992 after a commendable 32 years of service to the United States government. 

To honor Robert’s remarkable life, his family invites all those who knew and loved him to join in a celebration of life in Pagosa Springs, Colo. The commemoration will begin at Veterans Memorial Park on Aug. 19 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a gathering at the Tennyson Building Event Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Together, friends and family will share stories, laughter and memories, celebrating the lasting impact Robert had on their lives. 

As we bid farewell to Robert Leigh Arnold, let us remember a remarkable individual whose life was an embodiment of unwavering dedication, profound love for his family, his commitment to serving his country and community, and his ability to find joy in the simplest of moments. In this time of mourning, let us find solace in the memories we shared with Robert and honor his legacy by mirroring the values he held dear. May he rest in eternal peace, forever surrounded by the love of his family and friends and the gratitude of a nation he served so faithfully. In the hearts of those who knew him, Robert’s memory will remain ever-present. 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please send donations to Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County.