Arnold W. Laidig Jr.
ESTHERVILLE — A memorial celebrating the life of retired Army Lt. Col. Arnold W. Laidig Jr., 63, of Alexandria, Va., and formerly of Estherville, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008, at the Henry-Olson Funeral Home in Estherville. The family will receive visitors from 10-11 a.m. at Henry-Olson Funeral Home.
Laidig, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and Estherville native, died Jan. 1, 2008, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., after a two-year battle with leukemia.
He lived in Alexandria, Va., with his wife of 35 years, Judy, also of Estherville. He was the son of the late Arnold W. and Mildred Fowler Laidig, both of Estherville. He is survived by one brother, Mancil, of Newton; a nephew, Scott Laidig, and his family in Broomfield, Colo.; and a niece, Kim Fiala, and her family in Jackson, Minn. Also surviving are Judy’s brother and sisters, Dennis and Sheryl Wellnitz, Gilbert Ariz.; Nancy and Daryl Nelson, Adel; Susan Wellnitz, Loveland, Colo.; and their families.
Laidig was graduated from Estherville High School and received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Iowa and his master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
He was drafted into the Army in 1966 while a student at the University of Iowa and served two tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Silver Star and Legion of Merit for distinguished and valorous action under enemy fire.
During his 28-year military career, Laidig served predominantly as a field artilleryman and public affairs officer. He served at Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Bliss, Texas; Pirmasens, Germany; San Antonio, Texas; Frankfurt, Germany; and at The Pentagon. His most recent assignments were as chief of the professional development branch for Department of Army Public Affairs; as director for media operations at U.S. Central Command in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Storm; and as public affairs officer for U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in Arlington, Va.; and U.S. Army Military District of Washington at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
After his retirement from the Army in 1995, Laidig joined the staff at MPRI, located in Alexandria, Va., where he served for 10 years as the deputy to the senior vice president of human resources. In this role, he was primary recruiter for hundreds of former military employees who served with MPRI at home and abroad.
Laidig was an avid runner and competed in many marathons in the United States and Germany. He loved gardening, barbecuing in his backyard, and being a devoted husband to his wife and friend to many.
Laidig will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, March 5, with a viewing the evening of March 4 at Demaine Funeral Home in Alexandria, Va.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Laidig’s name to The Leukemia Society, 5845 Richmond Highway #800, Alexandria, Va. 22303 or Funds for Johns Hopkins Medicine Kimmel Cancer Center, 100 S. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21231, or a memorial of your choice.