In the early morning hours of Friday, May 28, 2021, Cecil “Bud” Arenz passed as quietly from this life to the next as the slow, methodical opening snare drum solo in his favorite musical composition, Ravel’s “Boléro”. An active man — military man; businessman; member and leader of community organizations; amateur artist; animal enthusiast — he lived most of his life at a pace reminiscent of Bolero’s rousing crescendo.

On Nov. 14, 1929, the successful American premiere of French composer Maurice Ravel’s best known musical composition, Boléro, was conducted by Arturo Toscanini with the New York Philharmonic performing. Several months later, on 4 May 1930, Toscanini conducted the work with the New York Philharmonic at the Paris Opéra, a performance that inspired audience members to stand and cheer. Sandwiched between these two seminal performances of Bolero was the birth of Cecil “Bud” Arenz on Jan. 24, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois.

Anna and Leo Arenz were the proud parents of a child destined to become a man of many talents, working in varied careers and performing energetic community service. Bolero’s mechanical, military precision of snare drum overlaid with the exotic Spanish Moroccan meanderings of wind and string instruments would eventually become Bud’s favorite classical composition, reflecting his fascination with all things military and all things with a foreign flair. Bud’s graduation from Chiliton High School in Chiliton, Wisconsin in 1948 became a steppingstone to a variety of careers that began with his U.S. Army intelligence career, starting in 1949 with advance training at the Army Security Agency at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Shortly thereafter, realizing Bud had intelligence potential, the Army transferred him to the Armed Forces Communications Intelligence Agency, a precursor of the National Security Agency. He received continued training at Carlisle Barracks, PA, and was later assigned to Arlington Hall, VA. In 1950, Bud was assigned to intelligence duties in Eritrea, Asmara in Africa. A 1954 reassignment to Ft. Carson, CO, resulted in his participation in the modernization of the Morse Code training program for the military. An assignment to Bad Kreuznach, Germany with the 142 Signal Col., 2nd Armored Div. soon followed. In 1955 Bud was honorably discharged from the Army, then joined the Wisconsin Active National Guard, and had started a career as a buyer/expediter for Allis-Chalmers of Appleton, Wisconsin.

By 1965, he was working for the Seattle, WA based Boeing Company as a purchasing agent and later received a promotion to incoming materials investigator. In 1970, Bud made his final career change, working for the Prudential Insurance Company, first as an agent and later as a divisional manager, traveling to Panama, Costa Rica, Italy and Germany. After enjoying years of boating in Panama and Costa Rica and stock car racing in Italy and Germany, in 1979 Bud decided it was time to return to the United States and he accepted a position with Prudential in Lawton, OK, opening the Lawton Prudential Insurance Ordinary Agency. His return to the United States coincided with ever increasing community organization participation. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and served as a Junior Vice Commander of the VFW in Ansbach, Germany; a lifetime member of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association; a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans; a lifetime member of the Association of the Viet Nam Veterans (AVVA); a lifetime member of the Korean War and Defense Veterans of America (KWVA); Knight of the Square Table, Order of the Sword; and a Master Mason, Lodge 183. He held leadership roles with many of these organizations: president of the AVVA in 2004/2005; organizer and founder of the Viet Nam Charity Golf Tournament; 2011 charter member and founder of the Lawton 319 Chapter of the KWVA; 2011/2012 president of the KWVA; and Vice-Chairman of the Comanche County Veterans Council. While president of the KWVA, he worked with local Korean churches to organize the finance and construction of the Lawton Korean War Memorial in Elmer Thomas Park. The memorial was of his design and was dedicated on June 25, 2012. Painting portraits, landscapes and animals provided Bud with a relaxing hobby. An animal enthusiast, Bud loved his pet dogs and cats; watched and fed birds in his backyard; and even “assisted” squirrels around the house, providing them with store-bought squirrel food to supplement the food squirrels stole from his bird feeders.

Bud is survived by his love of over 30 years, Joan and her sons, Curtis and Michael Stolp; his daughter Donna and her husband Ed Anderson; his daughter Deborah and her husband Shelton Redden. Grandchildren: A.J. Chalk and his wife Gabby and their baby Riley; Justin Gibbs; Dannie Redden; Lindsey Stolp; Jenny Spencer, her husband Derek Spenser and his daughter Kinze. Numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter Patricia Arenz; brothers John and LaRoy Arenz; and his parents.

Funeral services for Bud Arenz will be on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 10 a.m. at Faith Bible Church, interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Online tributes may be left for the family at www.whineryhuddleston.com

Recommended for you