When Rick Arnott shook my hand a couple of weeks ago during a community meal at our church, I was struck by a co
uple of things.
First, it was a wincingly firm handshake, the kind you don’t forget. And second, his hand felt like that of the craftsman that he was.
Rick, who died Thursday at age 67, was an outstanding woodworker. Just a few months ago, he made a beautiful wood cabinet to house a large flatscreen TV the church had purchased. He liked making guitars and recently was working on a ukelele project. In her Facebook tribute to Rick on Friday, our associate pastor, the Rev. Sara Staton, posted the photo at left of her son, Evan, playing with the wooden train that Rick made for him.
There are people in life
who take on any task and get the job with a smile. Rick was such a person.
He worked for years for Oregon Freeze Dry, but I’ll always remember him as the guy who could never said no at Albany First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He served as chairman of our church board, an elder, a member of various committee and was someone who showed up with tools at about every work party I can remember.
I thumbed through our old church directories Saturday morning looking at photos of Rick and his wife, Joyce, both of whom were active in the Disciples on Wheels RV camping club. In the 1996 directory, Rick is pictured holding a mic at the annual Harvest of Hope benefit auction, which he worked on for years.
Rick enriched my church and our community with his many talents and love of people. We’re sure going to miss him.
The memorial service for Rick will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Christian