Harley Byron Arnold of Mattituck, N.Y., 92, died peacefully Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
Born Aug. 14, 1926, on a farm in Granby, Oswego County, N.Y., to Byron C. Arnold and Ruth N. Arnold, Harley was the fourth of five children.
Harley attended high school in Wilmington, N.Y., where he played soccer. Growing up, he also enjoyed skiing and ice hockey. Interested in music from an early age, Harley sang and played the French horn and cornet.
Harley served in the United States Navy from Feb. 12, 1944, to Sept. 27, 1945, where he learned to fly as a Naval pilot trainee. He attended Oberlin College and Cornell University, studying chemical engineering. He subsequently attended and graduated from SUNY/Oswego, where he met the love of his life, Joyce Gerard Tuthill. They were married at Mattituck Presbyterian Church June 23, 1951. For over 40 years, Harley and Joyce made their home in Mattituck, where they raised three children. They taught their children to sing in four-part harmony and transmitted their love of playing music and dancing to them as well. Harley later went on to earn his master’s degree from NYU Polytechnic Institute.
Harley was employed for many years at Grumman Aerospace, where he worked as an engineer and systems analyst and assisted with the design of the Apollo lunar excursion module. While living on Long Island, he continued his love of flight by earning his private pilot’s license.
Ever the inquisitive engineer, Harley was always striving to determine the most effective and productive way to accomplish the tasks life threw at him. He was constantly researching, tinkering, building, assessing and readjusting things, both big and small, with the goal of making life better for all those around him. He patiently spent hours in his basement helping his children learn to create delicate balsa wood and tissue paper airplanes, which they would fly outside together. On a much larger scale, Harley also built by hand a complete full-sized Polynesian outrigger catamaran in his basement, along with a boat trailer to transport it. This unique boat, christened the “Fia Fia,” was launched from Mattituck Yacht Club and his family and friends enjoyed many happy sailing excursions under its 70-foot sail. Harley was also an avid ham radio operator, and communicated regularly with others around the world, under the call sign W2YRC.
After Joyce passed away in March 1994, Harley spent several years living part time, and then full time, in Pompano Beach, Fla. In 2016, He moved back to Long Island to be closer to his family.
Harley was a generous, compassionate and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He loved sailing, singing in harmony, all kinds of music, reading, golf, soccer, ice hockey, playing cards and just being together with family and friends. Harley had a wonderful sense of humor and was a talented teller of jokes and stories. He was a member of Mattituck Lions Club and attended Mattituck Presbyterian Church.
In addition to his wife, Joyce, Harley was predeceased by his sisters Marion Arnold and Margaret Arnold and a grandson, James Gerard Nolan. Harley is survived by his sister Llouise Van Enwyck (Bubby); his brother, Elmer “Ish” Arnold (Maureen); his daughters, Susan Baylis Arnold Labins and Jeanne Gerard Arnold (formerly Nolan) Schwetje (John); and his son, Thomas Eames Arnold (Jean). Other survivors include five grandchildren, Katherine Jeanne Nolan (Simon), Sarah Lillian Soden (Joshua), David Harley Labins, Jesse Nicholas Arnold and Joyce “Bailey” Arnold; and two great-grandchildren, Kieran James Skinner and Isabel Mae Skinner.
In accordance with Harley’s wishes, there will be no funeral services. Remembrances may be made in the form desired by friends.
DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck is assisting the family.
This is a paid notice.