Dec. 11, 1921-June 8, 2012
Palo Alto, California
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Arnold Wihtol was born on Dec. 11, 1921, and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second of two sons of Latvian immigrants who met, married and settled in Chicago. Latvian was spoken in their home, but Arnold learned English attending public schools. He graduated from Steinmetz High School in Chicago, in 1939. He also completed some course work at the Chicago City Junior College in 1941.
Arnold then worked at Raytheon in Waltham, Mass., until he joined the Navy during World War II. After the war he made his way to California, and was hired as the 39th employee in 1949 at Varian Associates, which was located in San Carlos at that time. The Varian brothers and their company were instrumental in the invention and manufacturing of vacuum tubes, including the klystron. Varian later became a Fortune 500 company. Arnold was hired as an engineer, assembler and maintenance man.
In 1950 Arnold married Helen Smith Rogers, who also worked at Varian. He worked his way up the company, becoming the Manager of the Tube Division, and ultimately a Vice-President of the Tube Division. He took great pride in his work at Varian and the contributions of his co-workers, and retired after 42 years of service to the company, at the age of 70.
Arnold enjoyed his family, cribbage, scrabble and any other competitive board or card game. He was very difficult to beat, and if he was beaten too often, he would switch to a new game. He golfed in his younger years and loved fly-fishing in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado in the summers.
His wife, Helen, and brother, Wes, preceded him in death. Arnold passed peacefully on June 8, 2012. Arnold is survived by his daughter, Pamela Hawley of Kelseyville, Calif.; his son, Jeff Wihtol of Portland, Ore.; seven grandchildren, one great-grandson, two nieces, four nephews and numerous cousins. He will be deeply missed by his extended family, which he nurtured and mentored throughout his adult life.
Tags: veteran, business