Arnold Laverne Havens Jr., 83, passed away on Feb 24, 2013, at his home, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after a long illness.
Born April 28, 1929, in Peoria, Ill., Arnold ''Arnie'' was the only child of Arnold Sr. and Florence Havens.
As a star athlete in Peoria, Ill., he excelled in three sports receiving letters in high school varsity football, varsity track, and varsity basketball, which led to a love of sports throughout his life, including a passion for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs and the Miami Heat. In 1948, he met his wife, Joyce, roller skating in Pekin, Ill. They married in July 1950, in Pekin, Ill.
Arnie graduated as a machinist apprentice at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Ill. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951 during the Korean War. He served in the Ordnance Corps at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where he taught machinist training until 1953. He pursued his college degree after the war on the GI bill, and graduated in 1956 from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., with a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering. After graduation, he then joined Caterpillar in Peoria as an engineer.
He moved with his family to Rockford, Ill., in 1958 and joined Sundstrand Corporation in the aerospace division where he worked until 1974. While at Sundstrand, he served as chairman of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and was an original member of the philanthropic Sundstrand Steak Club. From 1974 to 1979, Arnie was vice president at White-Sundstrand Corporation in Syracuse, N.Y., and then vice president of Crompton Knowles in Charlotte, N.C.
In 1979, Arnie returned to Sundstrand as vice president of manufacturing operations where he managed multiple plant operations across the U.S. as well as in Singapore until his retirement in 1987. He went on to become president of Tempe Precision Aircraft of Tempe, Ariz., until 1988.
Arnie enjoyed big band, swing, and jazz music, dancing with his wife, playing tennis and golf, coaching his daughters' softball teams, travel, summers in Fontana, Wis., and winters in Fort Lauderdale.
He served on the board of governors of the Maya Marca Condominium Association and was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family as he had grown up as an only child.
Summers in Fontana, Wis., began in 1980 when Arnie and Joyce started spending time there, and it soon became a summer gathering place for the Havens family. After retirement they built a home which Arnie designed on Geneva Lake in Fontana. One of Arnie's favorite times of the year was having his family together during the Fourth of July holiday in Fontana, a tradition that included watersports, fireworks and family dinners. Arnie truly enjoyed his grandchildren and marveled at their accomplishments.
Besides his beloved wife, Joyce, of 62 years, Arnie is survived by four daughters: Terry L. Havens-Turner (Rick Turner) of Lakewood, N.Y., Trudy A. Havens (Gary Neilson) of Winnetka, Ill., Valerie J. Havens of Chicago, Ill., and Vanessa H. Dimond (Ted Dimond) of Taos, N.M. Proud grandfather of Ricky Turner, Bradley Turner, Eric Neilson, Erica Dimond, Lauren Turner, Lindsay Neilson and Claudia Dimond.
The family invites you to join them for a memorial service to be held at 4 p,m,, Saturday, March 2, at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, 401 Southeast 15th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. Online condolences can be extended via Fred Hunter's Funeral Home (www.fredhunters.com).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society to help fight esophageal and pancreatic cancer (www.cancer.org); or to Hospice by the Sea in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (www. hospice 1.org).