Arnold (Arnie) Floyd Van Hees, longtime Okanogan resident, went to be with his beloved wife, our mother, Connie, on April 14, 2019. He died as he lived; on his own terms, in his own time, and in his own home.
Dad was born on Jan. 24, 1935. He was a builder, an outdoorsman and athlete, a musician and poet. He was an avid golfer and student of history. Arnie was a loyal friend, a loving husband and thoughtful father. Although we are happy he is finally with mom (who died in 2013), we will miss his humor, his wisdom, his stories and his love.
His life story was as full and complete as any that could ever be written, and in his last years, often told. He spent his youth in South Dakota, and traveled for a time with his parents as fruit tramps. They all eventually settled in the Yakima Valley, where they established a successful building business. After his father died, and the family business ended, he and mom moved to the Okanogan, where they had spent many of their early years hunting. Here, they settled into a life full of friendships, family and community on their property near Buzzard Lake. Much of their winters were spent in Hawaii, Belize, Mexico and finally Arizona.
He is survived by his children, Laloni Christenson of Bend, Oregon, Nadine Van Hees of Winthrop, and Gerald Van Hess of Okanogan. His siblings Charlotte Hogsett, Richard Van Hess and Judith Van Hees live in Yakima. His 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren live all over the Northwest, East Coast, Singapore and Australia.
Any flowers, condolences or memorial tributes can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. A family memorial service is planned for July.