Arden D. Houser Jr.
Arden Houser Jr., 82, a resident of Pahrump, Nev., passed away peacefully Sunday, April 6, 2014. Arden was born Oct. 9, 1931 in Modesto, Ca. to Eunice (nee Martin) and Arden D Houser Sr. While still in high school, Arden joined the U.S. Navy high school program, and active duty upon graduation in 1950. Following boot camp, Arden was stationed in Pensacola, Fla. for a three-month Photographer’s Mate School. Arden was stationed on Guam, filming the Korean War, also stationed in the Philippines, Hawaii and finally in San Diego. He was very proud of his service and often reminisced about the “good old days.” Arden was honorably discharged as a Photographers Mate-Petty Officer Third Class-PH3.
Arden was proud to be a fourth generation California native and third generation State of California Caltrans (Highways) employee. He started in the reproduction department as a supervisor. Shortly after he and Pat married, Arden was promoted into administration, first in budgets, and two years later he was promoted to head of administration and personnel in San Bernardino District 3. In two years he was promoted to the Sacramento headquarters, where he was in charge of the GEM program for state highways. Over the years there were more moves around California and many more promotions. Arden retired at 59 after 35 years. He was presented the Lifetime Safety Award in 1990, for the state of California, by then-Governor George Deukmejian. The original hangs in the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
Arden had a zest for life, some of his hobbies were riding his Gold Wing, Three Flags MIC ride, teaching motorcycle safety, fishing, golf, hiking, water skiing, camping and volunteering or sometimes just watching a great golf match on TV.
After retirement Arden and Pat spent 15 years full time RVing, they enjoyed Mexico in the winter and Vancouver Island, BC in the summer. They were also volunteer campground hosts for the National Park Service at Devil’s Tower, Wyo. and Zion National Park in Utah. They also spent two summers volunteering for the state of North Dakota, where they made some of their fondest memories learning new cultures, food and meeting some of the best people in the land. They also worked for the Escapees RV Club as the directors of special events, which included overseeing RV shows, speaker’s bureau and forming the new summer event, Fun Days. In 2004 it was time to retire to Arden’s dream, living full-time in Pahrump and building on their land. Arden loved living in the desert, the wide open spaces, the reverse sunsets and sitting on the deck feeding the bunnies, watching the coyotes cross the back of the land and eagles flying overhead. Arden worked hard to turn the desert into a home until his health began to fail.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Robert (Joni), and his oldest son, John.
Arden is survived by his wife, Pat; his daughters, Robin Burgett and Vicki Reeder; and son, Dennis Houser (Georgia). He is also survived by his sister, Ann Smart (Bill); 16 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; many Houser and Martin family members; and a wealth of friends who were also considered “family.”
Arden was a very proud member of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 15, of Pahrump.
A celebration of life was held Saturday, May 24 in Pahrump. There will be another celebration of life in Yuba City for the Northern California family on June 28.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the DAV, Chapter 15, P.O. Box 1852, Pahrump, NV 89041.