Arnold Durrell Nordquist

7/28/1931 - 9/24/2021

Arnold Durrell Nordquist

7/28/1931 - 9/24/2021


Arnold Durrell Nordquist, age 90, went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 24, 2021. Arnold was born July 28, 1931 in Bellingham, Washington to Sigurd and Eunice (McMillin) Nordquist. Arnold was a lifelong resident of Whatcom County and spent the last 1 year at Cordata Court. He graduated from Bellingham High School in 1949. He met the love of his life, Betty Lou Pidde at his church and married her on August 18, 1950. He then spent 21 months in the Air Force National Guard from 1951 to 1953 and was stationed for 1 year in Alaska during the Korean War. He attended Western Washington State College, now WWU, beginning in the fall of 1953 and graduated with a B.A in Education. He started at Nooksack School District in 1957, where he taught for 10 years. Then he started teaching at the Bellingham School District in 1967 until his retirement in 1987. He taught at Whatcom Middle School grades 6th through 8th and Parkview Elementary School 5th grade for 20 years. Then after his retirement he painted houses for 11 years and stayed quite busy painting for friends and acquaintances.

His faith in God was very important to him, he and his wife were members of Calvary Temple Church in which they were very active, and he served as a Sunday School Superintendent. Later they attended Northwest Baptist Church in which he played his trumpet in the church ensemble for many years. He was also a member of the Gideons in 1964 and was active in that organization for many years in Bible distribution.
He was very handy and had good carpenter skills, so was able to build the house his wife dreamed of having. She found the plans and he started building the house in the spring of 1969 and moved in in the fall of 1969. It was a labor of love and they have been happily residing there ever since.

His hobbies included music and sports. He really enjoyed playing his trumpet and practiced frequently. He started playing the trumpet when he was in the 4th grade and delighted in playing it into his mid 80’s. He was in the High School Band for 10th and 11th grade. He played his trumpet in the Bellingham Alumni Band for 12 years and marched in many Ski to Sea parades. He had fun playing baseball as a youth and really enjoyed watching baseball games and football games. And he sure loved his Border Collie – Missy. He loved playing catch with her and has appreciated being able to take her on many walks at Boulevard Park.

He has done a lot of traveling with his wife – they have enjoyed many trips to various parts of Europe, trips to many states in the US, and have enjoyed several cruises. They especially looked forward to their yearly visit to Desert Hot Springs where they could relax and enjoy themselves.

He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Betty Lou, for 71 years. The love and happiness on his face each time he saw her in this last year, since he has been at Cordata Court, has been so very precious. His love and commitment to his wife and his family has been a huge blessing!

Arnold is preceded in death by his parents Sigurd and Eunice (McMillin) Nordquist, and sister Esther (Anton) Neyens. He is survived by his wife Betty Lou Pidde Nordquist; his daughters Terri K. VanDyke and Traci (Tony) Matyas, his grandchildren Shannon (Jason) Iwasaki, Justin (Sara Clancy) VanDyke, Taryn (Rod) Redfern, Tyler Lynn Maloy, and Thea Maloy; great-grandchildren Axl, Mattisyn, Evelyn, Ellora, Miakoda, and Taeben; and a niece and nephews.

Memorial donations can be made to the Gideons International. A family graveside service will be held on Wed. Oct. 6, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale, WA.

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7 responses to Arnold Durrell Nordquist

  1. Nancy Fayram says:

    Arne supported me during the first years of teaching at Whatcom Middle School. He was kind, fun to work with, and always had a smile for staff and kids. He was a mentor to the new staff and a beloved teacher. He made a difference in my life.

  2. I loved Arnie, he attended NW Baptist with us although he had not attended in the last few years. He was such a nice man…and he played the trumpet really well . Heaven gained a good one. Our condolences to Betty Lou and the family.

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