Vincent Jerome Arends, 61, died April 25 at his home in Laurel. He was born Nov. 16, 1942, in Great Bend, the son of Nicholas Louis Sr. and Agnes Arends. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy right after high school. After his initial sea duty, he spent nearly two years in schools learning how to operate and maintain the equipment on submarines and learning about nuclear power.
Vince's first ship was the USS Bashaw, an old World War II diesel submarine. He was then transferred to USS Tiru, also a WW II Queen. He then requested and was transferred to the Nuclear Power School. Upon completion of the school he was transferred to the shipyard where the USS Haddock fast attack nuclear submarine was being built, where he helped commission the ship. After serving on this ship for several months, he was transferred to the shipyards where the USS Simon Bolivar was being built, a ballistic missile submarine. He also helped commission this ship, on which he finished his Navy career.
A few years after getting out of the Navy he joined his two brothers, Nick and Leonard, on the USNS Vanguard, an Apollo Tracking ship home ported in Port Canaveral, Fla. When the Vanguard was being scheduled to go to Argentina for a year, he took a job on the USNS Redstone, a missile tracking ship home ported out of Port Canaveral.
He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, in March 2001. He retired on disability in July 2001 from TFE of Greenbelt, Md., a computer maintenance company under contract to NASA, where he was a mainframe engineer.
Vince was a member of the Laurel Rotary Club and served as president 2002-2003. While growing up, he was active in Scouting and 4-H in Claflin. He had been 4-H president and junior leader in electricity.
He was a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was a high priest and served as a stake missionary and later as a ward missionary. He also served in many other positions including secretary of the High Priest Quorum.
Vince was lighthearted, optimistic and had a great sense of humor. He loved his friends and family. He was strong, maintained a positive attitude and was heroic throughout his illness until the Heavenly Father called him home.
Survivors include his wife, V. Carol Arends of the home; one son, Michael Arends of Laurel; one daughter, Trelana Frazee of Laurel; his mother of Great Bend; two brothers, Leonard P. Arends of Tehachapi, Calif., and Thomas Arends of Gilroy, Calif.; three sisters, Judy Wahaus of Salina, Linda Axtel of Mohave Valley, Ariz., and June Garrett of Claflin; and five grandchildren, Jeffrey Kempt, Tylor Frazee, T.J. Frazee, Tony Frazee and Travis Frazee. He was preceded in death by one son, Vincent Jerome Arends Jr.; his father; and one brother, Nicholas Arends Jr.
Vince was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and loved his family deeply.
Funeral was April 30 at Church of Latter-day Saints in Laurel, with Bishop Dennis Windley officiating. Burial was at Fort Lincoln Cemetery.
(Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, May 7, 2004)