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Obituary (MD): Arnold Nicholas Hafner '62

Posted on 05/14/2018

Arnold Nicholas Hafner  (December 6, 1938 - May 11, 2018)

Arnold N. Hafner died peacefully in his sleep of Parkinson’s Disease in Anne Arundel County MD, on 11 May 2018. He was 79 years old.

Dr. Hafner was born on December 6, 1938 in Queens, New York.  Arnie, as his friends knew him, enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 16 with his mother’s approval and went to Parris Island, SC.  After several years he took the test for the Naval Academy and was assigned to the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Port Deposit MD.  While at the Naval Academy, Arnie was coxswain for the Plebe Light Weight Crew Team that had an undefeated season in 1958. Known for his love of music, he sang in the choir and played the harmonica in his off hours. Upon graduation he returned to the Marine Corps and was assigned to The Basic School at Quantico, VA.  His chosen career path was artillery. He served two tours in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star medal with Combat V, Vietnam Service Medal, attended Nuclear Weapons Assembly School in Albuquerque, NM and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

He left the Marine Corps with the rank of Captain and continued his education earning two Master’s Degrees and a Doctorate in Human Resources. At this point in his life he chose to take care of some unfinished business when he received his high school diploma from St. John’s High School in NY. Arnie went to work with SAIC as a government contractor and later joined Computer Sciences Corporation. After a few years he formed his own company Information Systems Research.

Arnie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1994. He closed his business and went to work at the Naval Space and Warfare Center in San Diego, CA. In 1997 Arnie wrote an article on empirical testing of software that was published in the Naval Engineers Journal. He retired in 2002. While living in San Marcos, CA, he was on the planning commission and participated as a senior volunteer in the San Marcos Fire Department. He was instrumental in building a Roman Catholic Church in San Marcos. He later became a member of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Vista, and the Grace Episcopal Church in San Marcos. He served on the vestry in numerous positions and on the search committee for finding a new priest.

In 2005 he and Marge moved to Queen Anne’s County in Maryland. He continued his volunteer work as a Commissioner on the Queen Anne’s County Planning Commission where he served for two years until he was forced to resign for health reasons. He was described by the President of the Commission as a “great Queen Anne’s County citizen”. During this period, he also served as a volunteer for the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department and received the President’s award for playing a critical role in finding low-interest loans for new fire trucks for Grasonville Volunteer Fire Department.

Hafner is survived by his wife Margery (Blair Bristow); his son Marc (Nancy) Hafner of Fresno CA; Stepsons Ron (Karyn) Bristow of Arnold MD; David (Tonja) Bristow of Annapolis MD; Sister Jean (Paul) Bestafka of Manchester, NJ; Brother Bruce (Teresa) Hafner of Long Island NY; Stepsister Carrye (Ward) Winter of OR;  Daughter-in-law Heather Hafner of CA; three Grandchildren, 6 Step-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Arnold and Adelaide Hafner of New York, and his sons Arnold and Christopher Hafner of CA.

Arnie will be inurned at the US Naval Academy Columbarium, with a service and a celebration of life to follow.

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