Lt. Col. Arthur J. Arceneaux Jr.
Published 12:05 pm Monday, June 18, 2018
Lt. Col. Arthur J. Arceneaux Jr., USMCR, 94, passed away quietly on Monday, June 11, 2018, at Landmark of Baton Rouge Nursing Home.
A native of Gramercy and graduate of Lutcher High School, Art entered the military at 18, achieving his childhood dream of becoming an aviator, earning his Naval Aviator Wings of Gold. He served his country proudly during World War II in the South Pacific as an original member of squadron VMF(N)542, one of the first five U.S. Marine night fighter pilot squadrons.
He received several military honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with two gold stars, a Presidential Unit Citation and the Marine Corps Reserve Medal with three bronze stars.
After the war he married his “Darling Pat” and graduated from LSU in Chemical Engineering.
He remained in the Marine Corps Reserves in New Orleans with VMF-143. This squadron was reactivated in 1951 for the Korean War, divided in half, sending him to Cherry Point, N.C. The unit was later transferred to Belle Chase and redesignated VMA-143. Assignments included photo reconnaissance at the beginning of the Vietnam War. He transferred to the Retired Reserves in 1965.
Over the years he worked in various industries, retiring as plant manager at the Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling Company. He lived in his beloved community of Harahan from 1959 until a decision last year to reside at the Louisiana Veterans Home in Jackson.
He was a member of St. Rita of Cascia Church, ushered at Sunday Mass and was active in the St. Rita Knights of Columbus Council 3854, Holy Name Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society and Silver Trotters.
In 2013 he received the Order of St. Louis IX from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He belonged to the Harahan Senior Center, the D.D. Club, American Legion Post #397, VFW Post #3267, Marine Corps League/Detachment 579, Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 37 and others.
Besides flying, he loved swimming, fishing, cooking, traveling to reunions, attending his grandchildren’s events and learning to draw and paint. For many years he visited classrooms and civic organizations, giving instructive and patriotic presentations.
As he spoke of his “wonderful life,” he reminded his audiences “why they are still able to sing the Star Spangled Banner in public.” He was a charter member of the National WWII (D-Day) museum, volunteering and loving every minute spent with people from all over the world under his beloved airplanes in The U.S. Freedom Pavilion: the Boeing Center.
He took every opportunity to fly with friends in their small aircraft; his favorite slogan — “I’d rather be flying.”
He was the beloved husband of the late Patricia Duhé Arceneaux; loving father of Annette A. Zimmer (Max), Rosalie A. Blanke (Kenny) and Arthur J. Arceneaux III (Debbie) and the late Andreé Arceneaux; grandfather of Erica Zimmer, Kenny Blanke Jr. (Michelle), Max Zimmer IV, Tim Blanke (Amy), Melissa Buchanan (Charles), Kendal Stoltz, Michael Stoltz (Kristen) and Abby Stoltz; great grandfather of Mackenzie, Kenny III, Christian, Alex, Geno, Skyler, Kaleb, Lilyana and Jackson; son of the late Arthur J. Arceneaux Sr. and Mary Bongiovani Arceneaux; brother of the late Thomas J. Arceneaux and Marie A. Allen; and godfather of Margaret A. Gaudin and the late Glenn “Skip” Allen.
He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Mass at L.A. Muhleisen and Son Funeral Home, 2607Williams Blvd. in Kenner on Monday, June 25 at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be held 9 to 11 a.m. Interment with full Military Honors is at St. Peter Cemetery in Reserve. Semper Fi!
To view and sign online guest book, visit muhleisen.com.