Superior Senior Spotlight: Daniel Arnsan
DAN ARNSAN (Painted by Sue Hummel)
| January 15, 2020 1:24 PM
Name: Daniel Arnsan
Education: Bachelors Degree in history, Masters Degree in Information Science
Superior resident: Part-time 15 years, full-time 15 years
Family: Married to Barbara for 46 years. We have a daughter, Priscilla, and family in Memphis, Tennessee and a son, Tom, and family in San Diego, California.
What did you do after high school? I quit high school to join the Marines. I would not recommend this to any young person, but for me it was the right choice. By the way, the Marine Corps does not accept high school dropouts any more.
Which subject in school did you struggle with the most and why? I struggled with math, especially algebra and geometry. I had a girlfriend I flirted with all through geometry class. The teacher gave us a well-deserved lecture and sent us off with “C” grades and a warning about life that I still remember.
What do you think of tattoos? Do you have any? Tattoos are OK, but people should remember that they have to live with them and that they don’t look good on older folks. I was tempted to get a Marine eagle globe and anchor as a young Marine, but decided against it. The current U.S. Marine Corps does not allow tattoos that are visible.
Have you ever saved an animal’s life? How about a person’s life? Barbara and I have saved the lives of two dogs we adopted from shelters. We may have saved the life of a surfer drowning in the surf on the coast of California near the town of Del Mar. We gave him CPR and got much of the water out of his lungs before the paramedics arrived. We were on our way to a special dinner date and ended up wet, covered in sand and the poor guy’s bodily fluids. We had to go home, take a shower, and start our evening again. In Vietnam I helped set up a helicopter landing zone to evacuate the wounded after our company took 20% casualties in a devastating mortar attack. I hope that my efforts that terrible night contributed to saving some lives.
What do you bring with you everywhere you go? I try to bring my dog wherever I go. That isn’t always possible, of course.
What weird or useless talent do you have? I can’t think of any weird or useless talent. I love music and would do almost anything to play the guitar, even badly. There is something in my brain that makes a disconnect between the strings and my fingers no matter how hard I try.
Which recent news stories have you been following, what makes it interesting? I have been following the news with some dismay. In my 73 years I have never seen my country so divided and it really disturbs me. I have friends on both sides of current issues. I have my opinions, but friendships are more important to me at this stage of my life than politics.
How should success be measured? And by that measurement, who is the most successful person you know? Success, in my opinion, is not measured by money. Success is the legacy you build in raising a family, building deep friendships, having a job you love, and contributing to your community, especially in helping those who cannot help themselves. I will not commit to naming a single person as “most successful,” but I will mention a few people I admire in our community for their commitment to helping others. People who give so much and ask little in return like Ed Heppe, Jim DeBree, Doug Cummings, Mary Jo Berry, John Woodland, Florence Evans, Steve and Peggy Temple, Doug and Dana Austin, Monte Turner and long time Lions Club members like Roger Kesting, Roger Billadeau, Orville Thompson, and so many more who quietly make our community a better place to live. These are just a few people I know. There are so many more who deserve recognition.
It’s officially 2020! What do you hope to accomplish in the next decade of your life? If I am fortunate enough to live another decade, I would like to write another book to follow “Sarge’s Shenanigans” co-written by my wife or a sequel to my most recent book, “Trevor’s Tank.”
Our Sarge book has earned over $4,000 for canine cancer research and the Trevor book royalties are being donated to Warrior Canine Connection an organization that trains wounded veterans to then train service dogs to give to other wounded veterans.