Robert Louis Arnaud was born in Great Falls, Mont., on May 21, 1930. He was the fifth child of the eventual seven children born to Victor and Emily Arnaud. Robert graduated from Great Falls High School and pursued his childhood and lifelong passion of horses and cowboying. His youthful wanderlust took him into old Mexico leaving him with life-long memories and stories.
At the age of 21, Robert (Bob) enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was a strong man and did well in this environment, where he rose to the rank of Buck Sergeant. His excellent marksmanship earned him a position on the prestigious Marine Corp Rifle Team where he competed at regional and national shooting events. He was also a part of a specially trained group of Marines that were steaming by ship to Korea as a part of a larger war plan of General McArthur. When President Truman relieved McArthur of duty in April 1951, the mission was scrubbed and the ships turned around and returned home. As all Marines know, he was rightfully proud of his service and was a lifelong Marine.
Bob was honorably discharged three years later. Upon discharge, he landed in the Big Hole Valley of Montana where he met and married Jean Troupe, who had a four-year-old daughter, Vickie Harrison. They soon moved to Livingston, Mont., where Bob began working as a lineman for Mountain (Ma) Bell. In Livingston, son Rob was born in 1955. Shortly afterward, Bob transferred to Bozeman where he furthered his career in Mountain bell and Tim was born in 1958. In 1962, Bob took the Mountain Bell job in West Yellowstone and 4 years later transferred again to Manhattan.
Bob divorced Jean in the late 1970s and married Kit Rhoades and transferred to Shelby Mont., where he managed the Mountain Bell office. Daughters ReVae and Bobi Lou were born in Shelby, Mont., in 1980 and 1982 respectively. In 1994 sons Devon and Seth were adopted and two years following their adoption, daughters Heather and Samantha were also adopted.
In the late 1980’s Robert retired from Mountain Bell and continued his love and pursuit of ranching. He acquired property south of the Sweet Grass Hills near Shelby and set up summer residence and a cattle grazing program on the land. In 2003 the family moved to Belgrade, Mont., for a year and then to Ulm, Mont., for a couple years. The marriage ended in divorce and Bob settled back in Shelby where he continued his ranching and cattle grazing.
Son Seth helped Bob in his ranching endeavor until old age forced a tough life decision and he moved to Parkhaven Rest Home in Manhattan, Mont., in July of 2019. Less than a year later, he went to be with our Lord on April 25, 2020, just a few weeks short of his 90th birthday.
Robert was the last surviving sibling of his seven brothers and sisters. He is survived by sons, daughters (and their spouses): Vickie Dygert (Ernie) of Bozeman, Mont.; Rob Arnaud (Cheryl) of Gallatin Gateway, Mont.; Tim Arnaud (Shauna) of Everett, Wash.; ReVae Jensen of San Jose, Calif.; Bobi Lou Courtney (Jim) of Mount Vernon, Wash.; Heather Arnaud of Great Falls, Mont.; Samantha Arnaud of Billings, Mont.; Devon Arnaud of Great Falls, Mont.; and Seth Arnaud of Carrizo Springs, Texas. In addition, he had 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Robert will be missed with his huge laugh, witty sayings and infectious personality. We love you, Dad.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.