Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Fri, April 03


Arnold "Arney" Kovin

On the afternoon of Feb. 6, 2006, Arnold Kovin was killed in a single car accident in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. How greatly he will be missed by his wife Jeanne, son Chris, and daughter Melissa is inestimable. Untold numbers of friends and other members of the family grieve his absence.

Arnold was born in St. Louis, Mo., and would have celebrated his 55th birthday March 3. He was reared in San Diego and is survived by his father, Arnold Kovin Sr., his brothers Ken and John, and his sisters Kathryn and Jennifer. From 1971 to early 1976 Arnold served in the United States Air Force.

He began his long tenure with the National Park Service in 1976 at Grand Canyon National Park. Arney and Jeanne met while each was employed at the Canyon, they were married on the rim of the Canyon and Melissa was born there. Chris lived with them at the Canyon for a few years, too. Whether their home was on the South or North Rim of the Canyon, Arney and his family enthusiastically enjoyed the outdoor recreation the area provided. They often took day, overnight and extended hikes in the Canyon. An example of how Arnold enjoyed his friends while at the Canyon was when he helped organize his fellow employees into a baseball team he named "The Jerxx." Their exploits were modest, but the fun they had was extensive.

In 1994, Arnold took a position at Crater Lake National Park and worked there until 1997. The family then moved to Rohnert Park, Calif., where Arnold was employed at Point Reyes National Seashore Park. Arney worked at Great Smoky Mountain National Park from 2002 until his life was tragically ended Monday, Feb. 6, 2006.

During Arnold's 30 years of employment with the National Park Service he received several awards for various accomplishments. But, that of which Arnold was most proud was to have been chosen to make three successive trips to Tanzania to train and work with employees at the Arusha, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire National Parks and Ngorongoro Crater. While there he met a young native who wished for an education to help him with his work. When Arnold returned to the states he organized a scholarship fund for Erasto Ammi which was altogether successful, and today the young man having completed his education, works for the park service in Tanzania.

The graciousness, generosity, and loving-kindness of Arney will be long remembered by all those whom he befriended and many of whom he helped significantly.

His immediate and extended family will miss his love, his kindness, his thoughtfulness, as well as his entertaining and jocular antics. He was a good man.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to establish a memorial fund at Grand Canyon in Arney's name.

Contribute through via or by direct mail to Grand Canyon Association, Arney Kovin Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 399, Grand Canyon, Ariz., 86023.

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