ARLEE - Arnold Helding, 92, died Monday, Oct. 22, 2007. His desire was to die hunting, preferably sheep hunting - one of his passions. He died of pneumonia on the opening weekend of the general season.
Arnold lived in Missoula most of his life. He was the oldest of five children born to Oscar and Gudrun Helding. His brothers and sisters include Edna Evanko and John, Robert and Anna Weidenhaft of New Orleans, who is the only survivor.
As a child, he was a Western Union delivery boy. He went on to professions in the police force, as a photographer for McKay Art Co., a butcher for K&W Meats, a gold miner in Quartz Creek during the Depression, a journeyman carpenter for John Karlberg, and a fighter pilot during World War II with the 434th Squadron out of Wattisham, England. He flew 40 different aircraft in his life. He always said clouds were his favorite things to play in. In 1957, he joined Tom Wood in partnership in the secondhand and cash loan business called Wood's Second Hand Store. He retired in the 1980s.
Arnold believed that he lived during the best years for hunting, fishing and raising dogs in Montana. It could be said of him that he was a gentleman who laughed long, lived well and loved his family. He was married to Becky Ann Schall of Arlee for 64 years. Becky passed away in 2005. His son, Carl, and grandson, Camas, died together in 1981.
Surviving are his daughter, Linda Helding Schure; his special dog, Sadie; and his granddaughter, Heidi (Brad) Peters, with great-grandchildren, Gabrielle, Ashley and Ben Peters.
His life's stories will live on in the memories of his extended families, as well as his great friends, Gary and Sharon Hill.
A wake will be held in Arnold's honor at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Joker's Wild near the Reserve Street exit on Interstate 90 in Missoula. The party is a no-host bar with hors d'oeuvres and a champagne toast.