John Clerke Arbenz, Sr.

July 5, 1948 ~ September 5, 2020 (age 72)


John Clerke Arbenz was born July 5, 1948 to John (Jack) Arbenz and Virginia Arbenz (Clerke) in Columbus, OH.  John passed away on September 5, 2020.

In 1960 John’s family moved from Ohio to West Covina, California.  John graduated from South Hills High School in West Covina, CA in 1966.  In April 1967, he met Kay Arbenz and they married on December 30, 1967.  John joined the US Navy in June of 1967. John loved being in the Navy.  He was stationed on 5 different ships, the USS Perkins, the USS Blue Ridge, the USS Proteus, the USS Prairie, and the USS Horne.  While stationed on the USS Blue Ridge the fall of Viet Nam happened and John’s ship was involved in evacuation.  Every time a film clip shows the helicopters being pushed over the side of the ship, John is right there!  John was a born teacher.  His favorite duty station was being an Electronics Technician instructor at Great Lakes.  2 of the 3 years we were there he was selected as the Instructor of the year.  He loved to see young minds “get it”.  He also instructed the foreign students.  His 23 years of military service took him and family to San Francisco, San Diego, Guam and Great Lakes, IL.  We enjoyed every duty station. 

After retiring from the Navy in 1989, John found his second calling working as the Maintenance Supervisor at nursing homes.  When John and Kay moved to Oklahoma he wanted to retire, but got bored quickly and found a job as Maintenance Supervisor at Northside Nursing home in Sapulpa.   

John and Kay transferred membership to the First United Methodist Church of Sapulpa in 2005.  John enjoyed participating in every activity he could.  He loved his Sunday School class, the Chain Saw Ministry, the Cross and Flame Wednesday night dinners and the Cross and Flame Road show.  John could never say no to anyone who needed his help.

John is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kay Arbenz, his son John Arbenz, Jr., son Jeffery Arbenz-Smith (Keely), 5 grandchildren, Jordan, Joshua, Amelie, Cian and Silas and 1 great grandson, Damien, his sister Susan Hecox (Frank) and his brother Dr. Fred Arbenz.  And 15 nieces and nephews, 32 great nieces and nephews and 15 great great-nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his Father and Mother, and Father-in-law and Mother-in-law.

Services will be held at First United Methodist Church (1401 E Taft Sapulpa Ok) on Friday September 11th at 10 AM services are under the direction of Smith Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to Heroes on the Water, a group that helps military veterans.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Clerke Arbenz, Sr., please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 11, 2020

10:00 AM
First United Methodist
1401 E. Taft Ave
Sapulpa, OK 74066

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