Whether you knew him directly or indirectly, Arno Sindelar, 88, will be remembered as the most kind and gentile man you could ever hope to meet. The grandson of Czech immigrants, he embraced his heritage and strong sense of family and friendship. Growing up on a farm in Cedar Rapids with his brother, Hugo, and sister, Marilyn, he developed his strong work ethic and frugal ways that persisted throughout his life. Clanging spoons or adding water inside of seemingly empty jars to extract every last morsel became his mantra that his children unknowingly emulate to this day.
He joined the Army after attending Roosevelt High School and was sent to Germany at the end of World War II. With his military obligation complete, he used his GI Bill and was admitted to Iowa State, where he majored in mechanical engineering. While a Cyclone, he became a proud member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep) Fraternity. To the frustration of his children, he always kept his word never to divulge the secret handshake of their brotherhood to them.
With his degree, he accepted a position at Collins in Cedar Rapids, where he would meet his future wife, Joyce. While there, he worked on military and civilian projects as well as both the Apollo and Mercury space programs.
Arno's personality was well suited for working at Collins, which demanded intelligence, ingenuity and confidentiality. An engineer is essentially a trained tinkerer and he always was looking to understand and improve upon all things mechanical. Whether fashioning a Barbie doll arm to make a car window roll up and down or maintaining his John Deere riding tractor of 60 years for summer mowing or winter plowing, he always would find a way to get the job done — eventually. In his spare time, he also enjoyed bowling, golfing and dancing with his wife.
During his more than 40 years at Collins, he and Joyce began their family, having four daughters and a son who would bear his name. His children would later give them 12 grandchildren. His family was his world and he enjoyed the chaos of his children and grandchildren discussing all things real and imagined as they sat around the kitchen table. He would sit quietly, adorning a small smile and absorbing all that he was responsible for.
On the morning of March 3, 2018, with his family by his side, Arno peacefully went to join the love of his life of more than 50 years.
He will be greatly missed by his children, Jo Ellen (Jim) Haddad, Terry (Lance) Betson, Peggy Sindelar-Schwarting, Arno Albert II (Tonya) Sindelar and Jenny (Mike) LaPoint.
Celebration of Life services will be held for Arno at the Brosh Chapel and The Avacenter this Sunday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m. It is located at 2121 Bowling St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Burial will follow at the Czech National Cemetery with military rites. Friends and family may visit with the family on Saturday, March 10, at the Brosh Chapel from 5 to 8 p.m.
The family wishes to thank the amazing and caring staff at Hiawatha Care Center.
A special thank-you to Dr. Melanie Stahlberg for her support and compassion.
Memorials may be directed to the Mercy Hospice and the Cedar Rapids Metro Parkinson's Association.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.