In Memoriam – Hugh Arnold 1943-2007

By: Bethany Golombeski

I found out early on a typically busy Monday morning last October that my friend, Hugh Arnold, had lost his battle with leukemia. Upon hearing the news, I sat down in the middle of my construction site and cried. But instead of railing against God for the loss of a truly wonderful person (and far, far too soon), I took all the things I loved about Hugh and preserved them on paper.Hugh was an enormously special human being, the loss of whom still leaves a void in my life. The main reason he had such an effect is because he lived his life with joy and an uncompromising commitment to doing things the right way. Here are a few things I've learned from Hugh:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • (Probably at the top of Hugh's own list:) Life is too short to drink bad wine or to eat bad food. And if you can follow it up with chocolate, so much the better.
  • Always expect (read: demand) the best. Hugh was never shy with his opinions. He was not only a valuable resource for improving my business, but a not-so-gentle reminder that settling is selling yourself short. In other words, you deserve the best, so why let anyone in your life give you less than you deserve?
  • Life should be approached with humor. Hugh always lit up any room he entered, and people congregated to him. He showed us that while life is difficult most of the time, isn't it better to approach it positively, and in the process, have more fun? Hugh enjoyed life more than anyone I know and it was infectious. His laugh could make even the crustiest bystander crack a smile. (He was also an unmitigated flirt, flattering women of all ages.)
  • Be Kind and listen to others. The greatest compliment that we can pay someone is to listen to them. People just want to be noticed and heard. Hugh, although he had no difficulty voicing his own opinion, also had the knack of making whomever he was speaking to feel like they were the most interesting person in the room. He asked questions and was truly interested in the answers.
  • Stand up for what you believe in. Hugh had many interests, but the one that stood apart was his deep love of historic buildings. He loved his West 11th neighborhood and adopted city of Dubuque, displayed by his heavy involvement in the community as a volunteer.
For these reasons and more, the Old House Enthusiasts of Dubuque dedicates this house tour to the memory of our dear friend, Hugh Arnold. Bless you, Hugh. We miss you.