Leslie E. "Les" Arnold, 88, of Atkinson, died Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at Illini Restorative Care, Silvis. Funeral services celebrating his life will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Atkinson Chapel of Vandemore Funeral Homes. The Rev. Steve Clark will officiate. Burial will follow in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Atkinson. A visitation will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m., prior to service time at the funeral home. Memorials may be left to the Henry County Humane Society of Geneseo, which was dear to his heart and is now home to his best friend, Timmy.
Les was born on Dec. 19, 1923, in Atkinson, the son of Raymond and Gladys (Steiner) Arnold. He married Wilma Hamer on Dec. 28, 1944, in Atkinson and later Linda (DeCausemaker) VanOpdorp on July 5, 1969, in Geneseo. She died in 2008. He graduated from Atkinson High School in 1941 and worked at Peabody Coal Company for more than 18 years. He then served as an insurance representative for Equitable of Iowa and Great West Life for 24 years. He moved to Arizona in 1986 and worked in security for Leisure World for 20 years. He was an avid baseball fan and played and coach baseball for many years from Little League to Babe Ruth. He was a player/manager for the famous New Bedford Elites in the 1950s, finishing third in the World Tournament in 1956 and 1957. He was named All-American in 1956. He was president of the Atkinson Baseball Association for many years and there is a baseball field in Atkinson bearing his name.
Survivors include a son and spouse, Randal and Mary Arnold of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. and their children, Emily (Ron) Cortese, Noah (Christine) Arnold, Levi (Kathleen Sanders) Arnold and their son, Trigg, and Olivia Arnold; son and spouse, Daryn and Brenda Arnold of Reynolds and Daryn's daughter, Amber Arnold and Brenda's children, Ryan, AJ and Lorena; son-in-law, Larry Wiebel of Moline and children, Heather (Brett) Errthum and Adam Wiebel; stepsons and spouses, Rock and Tina VanOpdorp and Rock's children, Tory and Tara; Rory and Cathy VanOpdorp and their children, Carly and Chase; and several great grandchildren; his sister, Donna Scott of Bettendorf, Iowa; and his mother-in-law, Mary Lou DeCausemaker. He was preceded in death by his daughters, Julie Ann in 1946 and Lynda Sue in 1990; his wife, Linda in 2008 and her son, Ryan in 1986; his parents; brother, Bobby; and sister, Arlene.