THOMSON—Arnold J. Sikkema, 88, of Thomson, passed away Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, at MercyOne Medical Center, Clinton, Iowa.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, at the Community Reformed Church, 747 N. 12th St., Clinton, Iowa, followed by inurnment in the Lower York Cemetery, Thomson, with full military rites by the Thomson American Legion.

Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service from 12 noon-2 p.m. at the church Saturday, Sept. 5. Masks are required. Memorials may be given in Arnold's honor to the church or the Thomson American Legion.

Arnold was described as a caring, sweet, gentle and Christian man. Throughout his entire life, he cared for his family and friends in the same way that God cared for him.

He was born at home on July 28, 1932, in Garden Plain Township, Whiteside County, the son of Joe J. and Gertrude (Wilkins) Sikkema.

When Arnold was 12, his parents moved their family near the Thomson bluffs, where they farmed for the F.J. Stransky Farm. Arnold attended the Sandridge Country School, then graduated in 1950 from the York Community High School, Thomson.

After high school, Arnold kept busy helping on the farm, mostly milking cows, raising cattle, hogs, chickens, and crops to keep them all fed. During this time, Arnold met the love of his life, Roberta L. Williams, who was a senior graduating from York Community High School. As they got to know each other, they found they made a good team.

Arnold enlisted in the U.S. Army and served at Camp Chaffee at Fort Smith, Ark., and Fort Carson, Colo., learning and applying his mechanical skills. Upon his return home after his service, Arnold and Roberta were married on Oct. 12, 1956, in the Methodist Church in Thomson. They raised two children and celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Arnold and Roberta continued the family's work by farming the Stransky Farm for 18 years until 1974, when Arnold took a job at Chemplex in Clinton, Iowa. He was a good fit at Chemplex, as he could use his mechanical background. Arnold retired in 1994 and was able to spend time in his garden and yard, as he still enjoyed working with the earth.

He was a member and past Deacon at the Community Reformed Church of Clinton, Iowa, and a member of the Thomson American Legion. Arnold always looked forward to putting out flags at the cemetery in honor of his fellow veterans on Memorial Day.

Arnold will be dearly missed by his wife, Roberta of Thomson; his son, Bradley J. (Michelle) Sikkema of Bryant, Iowa; his daughter, Marcia L. (Jeff) Roeder of Galena; four grandchildren, Mara (Joel) Welsh, Addison VanBuer, Brandon (Abbey) Sikkema and Levi Sikkema; two great-grandsons, Roman and Maddox; a brother, Willis E. (Lois) Sikkema of Erie; and a brother-in-law, William Stadt of Rockford, Mich.

Arnold was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Wilma Jean Stadt; and a brother, Robert (June) Sikkema.