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This past weekend, our community lost a wonderful friend. State Senator Dave Arnold represented not only his constituents, but he represented all that was good and decent in a friend.

Dave leaves a loving wife Alicia and a caring daughter Reese. He will be so missed. Candidly though, his legacy and spirit will live on in all of us who got to know him so well.

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In 2020, we had the opportunity to see Dave during an exceedingly difficult time in his life and in the lives of his family. Despite battling the ravages of cancer, Dave continued to work feverishly for those so horribly impacted by the ravages of COVID-19 and the prolonged shutdown of their businesses which were the very lifeblood of their families. His compassion and empathy for those hurting showed through in all that he did.

I saw his concern for those in fear and struggling to survive in such uncertain times not knowing how their lives would turn out. Yet all the while Dave maintained a brave front as he fought for his own life and the future of his family while fighting for our community. He buoyed our hopes even while fighting for his own survival and while trying to protect his family from the uncertainty of his own medical issues.

In the military, when we lose a friend with whom we served in harm’s way and in trying, challenging times, the closeness of the friendship makes such a loss as painful as when we lose a brother or sister, mother or father or son or daughter. With Dave, this past year brought him very close to all of us in the House and Senate as we saw him battle for justice, fairness, and transparency. We all served in lockstep with him and he stood firmly for all that was just.

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During a recent Veteran’s event this past November at the Lebanon Fair Grounds, Dave responded with his typical positive attitude even though those of us around him saw the pain and discomfort that he was in. He stood erect even though standing was a challenge.  He fought on to honor those who fought for him. He did us all proud that day and every day.

As we celebrate the life of our friend, I pray that we will all remember the good that he did, the care that he showed for others and remember his family in our prayers and our actions.

As a personal favor, remember his wife Alicia and daughter Reese. If you know the family, in the months and years ahead, please remember them and be sure to pass on to them the favorable memories you have of her husband and Reese’s dad. They are a family that will be struggling with their loss and it a tribute to his memory that we help keep his spirit alive to help them ease the burdens of their pain.

Life is so incredibly fragile. Dave is in Heaven now resting peacefully and he has just met God. He will be praying for us until we all meet with him again.

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Alicia and Reese, we are so sorry for your loss.  You are in our prayers.

May we all be kind to one another as we mourn the loss of our friend and Senator.

Rest in peace, Dave!

Frank Ryan, CPA, Col USMCR (Ret) represents the 101st District in the PA House of Representatives. He is a retired Marine Reserve Colonel, a CPA and specializes in corporate restructuring. He serves as Vice Chair of the PSERS Pension Board and its Chair of the Audit/Compliance Committee. He can be reached at fryan@pahousegop.com.

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