Bruce Arnzen

Obituary of Bruce Edward Arnzen

Bruce E. Arnzen, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed away on August 17, 2023 in Newnan, Georgia, with his family at his side.  Bruce was born on April 28, 1950 to Dennis F. Arnzen and Audrey M. Arnzen (Beckman), and grew up on their farm in the small community of Greencreek, Idaho.  He was the third oldest of twelve children. 

Bruce attended parochial schools throughout his elementary years, and graduated from St. Gertrude’s Academy High School in Cottonwood, Idaho in 1968.  He was active in basketball, baseball, farm activities and, in his spare time, hunting, fishing and riding horses in the canyon.  After high school, he attended one semester at Lewis Clark College in Lewiston, Idaho before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corp.  He served from 1969-1971 during the Vietnam War era.  He was stationed in Quantico, Virginia, where he was one of only a few who had security clearance to operate the MTST for the entire Marine Corp division. His unit was also called to protect the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. during the 1969/1970 war protests.  In 1970 Bruce married his high school sweetheart, Helen Grant, the love of his life for 53 years, and they returned to Quantico, Virginia until his honorable discharge in 1971.  They were blessed with two children, Justin L. Arnzen and Tasha M. Arnzen, who both will forever remain his pride and joy.

After his discharge from service, they moved to Boise, Idaho, where Bruce started his career with the Veterans Administration (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs).  During his 32 years with the V.A., he was honored with numerous awards for excellence in serving the veterans of the state of Idaho.  For the majority of his career, he was an investigator, traveling the entire state in order to reach those veterans in need of assistance.  Bruce was also a founding member of the Ada County Board of Guardians and contributed many hours toward making sure his veterans were provided proper services and protection, meeting with law enforcement, attorneys, counselors, court personnel, judges and legislators to make it happen. 

But most of all, Bruce was a family man. He loved attending his children’s many sporting and school events, volunteering to coach his daughter’s softball team and being a nail-biter at his son’s motorcycle events.  He was an avid sportsman and loved to fish and hunt in the Idaho mountains (God’s country).  He started both his children shooting at an early age and was most proud when they first hit the target. His daughter shares a love of gardening and his son shares a love of hunting/fishing, both of which made him so happy. 

Bruce believed in working hard, keeping a promise, keeping a confidence and being not just on time, but early for absolutely everything.  Upon his retirement in 2006, Bruce stayed busy by working part-time for his brother and sister-in-law at Accent Funeral Home, and at Cabela’s, where he made many friends who also enjoyed the outdoors.  Next to family, he treasured his friends, old and new, many who shared adventures with him that became very tall tales, only a few of which are actually true.

In 2019, Bruce and Helen decided to move to Georgia to spend more time with their grandsons, Christian and Shawn.  Bruce was overjoyed to be able to pass down his corny stories of battles with bears and cougars, fishing, shooting, and teaching the boys how to make a bow and arrow from sticks and twine.  His heart was full with the knowledge that they would never forget him. 

Bruce loved his Catholic faith and believed in God’s love and mercy, which helped him through his journey of treatments for Hereditary Hemochromatosis and ultimately Hepatocellular Carcinoma.  He fought both diseases with all his strength and a strong heart right to the moment God called him home. 

Next to his faith, Bruce loved his wife, children (their spouses) and grandchildren (“to the moon and back”) and his extended family of siblings, nieces and nephews more than anything.  He was so proud to be “grandpa” and that “favorite” brother and that “favorite” uncle.  When asked what they could do for him, his answer was always “just send money,” and they did ($2.00 on his birthday).

Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Dennis and Audrey; three brothers: Douglas Arnzen, Gordon Arnzen and Dennis Arnzen and one brother-in-law, Patrick Long.  He is survived by his loving wife, Helen; son, Justin L. Arnzen (Allison); daughter, Tasha M. Arnzen (Mark); grandsons: Christian L. Arnzen and Shawn M. Arnzen; eight siblings: Judy Long (Patrick, deceased), Dale Arnzen (Char), Susan Arnzen, Brad Arnzen (Char), Mary Rhea (Eric), Sandy Harden (Brian), Randy Arnzen (Danette) and Clay Arnzen (Kathy); and many “favorite” nieces and nephews. 

“I wanna be remembered for my kindness, for showing up, for giving second chances, for acknowledging my own toxic traits, and for loving selflessly.  If that ain’t it, then I failed horribly.  Remember to extend grace, because we’re all just walking each other home.”   [Author Unknown]

In lieu of flowers, you may wish to donate to one of Bruce’s favorite causes, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , Tunnels to Towers or Autism Society of America.  In Tribute to Law Enforcement and his Marine Brothers:  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”  [Matthew 5:9] 

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Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Monday, September 25, 2023
Holy Apostles Catholic Church
6300 N. Meridian Rd.
Meridian, Idaho, United States

Committal Service

1:00 pm
Monday, September 25, 2023
Idaho State Veterans Cemetery
10100 N. Horseshoe Bend Rd.
Boise, Idaho, United States
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