Dennis Arnold

Dennis Arnold, 75

Died: September 12, 2008
He worked in the aerospace industry in the San Fernando Valley for many years. That was his day job. He loved music. It seems to me that he was always in some kind of band. I remember him in the Shenandoah Trio, and playing for some folk music TV show back in the '60's. Later, he played in some bluegrass bands. There were many times that I picked guitar with him. It was a lot of fun.
— Geoff Arnold, nephew
His nephew remembered his uncle as his favorite Sunday School teacher. "He had a calm assertiveness about him that seemed to draw out the respect of the students. He treated us with respect, and we returned it," Geoff Arnold said. "I wish I could have spent more time with him in recent years."
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56 memories of Dennis

I didn't know Dennis, but want to send my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends at this difficult time.

— Patrice
September 14, 2008 at 7:53 a.m.

Dennis was my uncle. Known as "Uncle Bunky" he was a gentle, kind, and soft-spoken individual who was happily and totally immersed in his family. He was a guitar-loving musician who still played with his buddies at local "pubs" and restaurants. He loved his family, his music, and the quiet, peaceful experience of fly-fishing. We will miss him.

— Mark Smith
September 14, 2008 at 8:51 a.m.

Dennis was a friend and I gave him a ride home from Chatsworth to Camarillo on occasion when the train did not come. He was only on 111 because he rode to Moorpark and then back to Simi while waiting for 113. I cannot describe the sense of loss. He was a good man. My prayers go out to his family.

— Lois Krieger
September 14, 2008 at 9:15 a.m.

Dennis was my "Uncle Bunky" too. He was a kind, selfless, loving man with an amazing sense of humor. Spending much time with the family, I consider him my "2nd Dad" and am thankful for his influence in my life while growing up. In addition to his family, music, and fly fishing, Uncle Bunk loved riding the train. I'll never forget our summer Saturdays as kids, riding around in his VW van with a box of donughts and the family beagle, "Cinco". A bright light has left us.

— Linda Oleson
September 14, 2008 at 12:09 p.m.

My uncle was and will always be a huge part of my life. I have so many wonderful memories of the past 50 years.

He helped me feel better after the first time I was stung by a bee on the front lawn of the house in Canoga Park. Our annual summer family trips to Yosemite meant being able to spend a whole week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, floating on the Merced River, trying to fish, breakfasts at the Lodge cafeteria, a day in Tuolumne Meadows.

He gave me my first bass lessons and encouraged my musical pursuits. He gave me my first surfing lesson. He introduced me to cockney rhyming slang and to so many wonderful, fun, and somewhat obscure folk songs.

His stories of his tour of duty in the Korean war as an infantry soldier: the popping sound a bullet makes as it passes over your head, how to get your white undershirts clean by beating them on rocks in a river.

Simply by example, he taught me about, patience, honesty, integrity, and courage, and how easy it is to be polite to people.

He had a slightly offbeat sense of humor that I could never get enough of. On one of our family trips, we were driving through the Mojave Desert. I asked my uncle how Joshua trees got their name. He said a long time ago, there were two old prospectors walking through the desert. One prospector turns to the other and asks, "Hey Josh, you-a now what kind of trees those are?" And the rest was history.

What I will remember most about him is his gentle nature and his broad, warm smile. Those mental images will be with me for all of my life.

— Luis Oleson
September 14, 2008 at 12:23 p.m.

Dennis and I worked for the same company on the same floor. He was a very nice, quiet and gentle man. I saw him that afternoon at work and was shocked to read the news last night. God bless his soul and my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

— Sal
September 14, 2008 at 1:37 p.m.

I'm crying as I type this and I can't seem to stop. I've known Dennis for nearly 15 years and I just can't bear to think of him in the past tense, much less write about him that way, it's just too soon. So I won't do that, I'll say what I think about him in the present.

Dennis is the genuinely kindest person I've ever known. He never tries to be kind to people because he doesn't have to try, he's unfailingly kind and it's no effort for him. His nickname is Bunky, but he has another, less-used nickname, "Saint Dennis." He doesn't like the second one that much.

For a seriously accomplished person he is astonishingly humble. He has multiple university degrees, speaks three languages fluently, is an expert fly fisherman, surfer, and is an outstanding musician. It took years for me to find out these things about him. Dennis teaches me a lot about the true nature of why it's important to be humble, he doesn't talk about himself because he doesn't have to.

Above all other things, Dennis is a family man. It's a big wonderful family that love him every bit as much as he loves them, and always will.

Tomorrow is Monday, another work day and Dennis and I have plans for lunch.

— Matthew Cesarini
September 14, 2008 at 3:47 p.m.

I shared a cubicle with Mr. Arnold from the first day I started work at our company. He was a friendly, kind and gracious man with a great sense of humor.

As Dennis and I came to know more about each other, I knew that I worked with a very special person, the kind that this world needs more of. I called him Mr. Arnold and he called me Roy T., we shared a deep respect for each other and gratitude for the gifts life has given us. He always reminded me of how great life is, if we would only take a moment to think about it.

Mr. Arnold, though we spent only 18 months as co-workers, you made me feel, as you did all you came in contact with, that we were life-long friends. Thank you for calling me your friend.

I extend my condolences to his family. God hold him close, he is one of your greatest creations.

Roy T.

— Roy T.
September 14, 2008 at 5:34 p.m.

Didn't know Dennis, but wrote a song in memory of all those lost.

Beams of Light

Written In Memory of
the Metro accident

Remember them when the sun falls
Remember them when time calls
Remember them when all hope becomes one

Let love rise through the shadows
Let love heal all that you know
Let love wash over you like the sun

So hold on through that darkest night
The love we love lives on as beams of lights

Remember all the times that we shared
Remember all the times that our faith cared
Remember you and love are one

Light a candle hold to the nights sky
Light a candle let your tears dry
Light a candle let it melt into the sun

Hold on through the dark of night
The love we love lives on as beams of light

Remember them when the sun falls
Remember them when time calls
Remember them when all hope becomes one

In Lasting Memory,

Eric S. Kingston & Family

— Eric S. Kingston
September 14, 2008 at 7:29 p.m.

Dennis, fique com Deus. Descanse em paz ao lado dos anjos.

— Andrey Kamykovas
September 14, 2008 at 8:50 p.m.

I met Dennis around March 2000 and I was sitting at the same cubicle with him for about 10 months. He was a very nice man and I loved to talk to him, as he'd always listen to me. It was a pleasure to have met him and I was thinking of him recently about dropping him an e-mail. He made my arrival to this new company for me, a very pleasant experience!
I extend my condolences to his family.

— Chris Zografos
September 14, 2008 at 9:10 p.m.

Dennis and I shared a lot in common. Our membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; our imployment at Rocketdyne; our work together on a special project at work; our faith that life continues after death; our hope to return to our Heavenly Father.
Dennis was a gentle man who was soft spoken and kind with a listening ear.
I will miss him but look forward to our reunion some time in the future.
May Heavenly Father give comfort to his family and friends with the knowledge that he will live again as promised by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

— Lynwood Harding
September 15, 2008 at 9:17 a.m.

My sister and I grew up with the Arnold family through our church. He was such a wise gentle man with a wonderful adventurious spirit. His presence will be greatly missed. Our sincere sympathy and love go out to the whole Arnold family - God bless

— Debi and Lisa Labrum
September 15, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.


September 15, 2008 at 9:53 a.m.

I played music with Dennis many times over the years.
His group was the Antique Music Company.
You could not meet a more friendly person with a wonderful
I can still hear his Spanish Ballads and Sea Chanties.
He will be sadly missed, and well remembered.
Adios Amigo.

— Terry Reagan
September 15, 2008 at 12:45 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

We will all miss Dennis at "The Rock"!

— Rocketdyne Employee
September 15, 2008 at 1:01 p.m.

I worked with Dennis at Rocketdyne. He returned from retirement to assist in re-writing the standard operating procedures(eSW) for Engineering. He was a very humble man and will truly be missed by his Rocketdyne family.
May Good Memories and Time heal your loss. My deepest Sympathy to the whole Arnold Family.

— Joy Wenzel Rocketdyne
September 15, 2008 at 1:05 p.m.

Our family grew up with the Arnold family through our church. The Arnold's moved away and then some 30 years later I again met Dennis on Metrolink. We only rode together between Simi Valley and Chatsworth but had many discussions about our love of music and railroads. My heart-felt sorrow to the Arnold family. Until we meet again, Dennis.

— Tim Rosevear - Metrolink friend
September 15, 2008 at 2:22 p.m.

I can attest to the fact that Dennis indeed possessed all the wonderful personal characteristics and traits that his family and friends have attributed to him in these comments. Dennis was a wonderful co-worker, role model, and friend. While working with both Dennis and his son Scott, I enjoyed swapping fly-fishing stories with them and hearing accounts of their family outings and camp trips. Dennis was a very talented and special individual who will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Scott, I am very sorry for your loss. I know your father was also one of your closest friends. Please extend my sympathy to the rest of your family.

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." ~Henry David Thoreau

— Dan Hoyt
September 15, 2008 at 3:01 p.m.

Though I had never worked w/u nor met you, I know you are in heaven now, and it is a much better place.

— Rocketdyne Employee
September 15, 2008 at 3:28 p.m.

While I didn't know Mr. Arnold personally, I offer my deepest sympathy to all those who loved him. Having lost a family member myself to unexpected tragedy I can relate to the feelings of shock and emptiness that has overcome each of you and can only offer each family member and friend, through prayer, the strength I called upon to survive my loss.

— Rocketdyne Employee
September 15, 2008 at 4:44 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 5:04 p.m.

I remember: Dennis & his troupe singing at Art Stringham's party...with his guitar in the AI parking lot during lunch...and the sparkle in his eyes when he spoke of Maria and the heart they poured into theie grateful I am to have known him.

— Maureen Micklich
September 15, 2008 at 5:35 p.m.


I was so sorry to hear about the untimely loss of your father. My heart goes out to you and your family.

— Jon Price
September 15, 2008 at 6:53 p.m.

Dear Jeanette:
My fears were confirmed today (Monday) that your father perished in the tragic Chatsworth train accident when I saw your name and photograph and all the pieces fit. I could not help but recall your father's smiling face and cheerful attitude when he came by my Chatsworth home to drop off or pick up work while I was doing secretarial work for the family (school accreditation project) and especially his cheerful phone calls. I want to express my sincerest condolences to you and your family for your sudden, tragic loss.

— Maureen Bratman
September 15, 2008 at 8 p.m.

You shall be missed and your family is in our prayers.

— Robert Schottelkorb-Rocketdyne
September 15, 2008 at 8:28 p.m.

I don't know you but my Daddy did. I'm very sorry for what happened and I wish I could turn back time to have the train be pulled over. I know your family is in God's hands, and I pray for them. I'm very sorry....

— Audrey Schottelkorb
September 15, 2008 at 8:41 p.m.


I am so sorry to hear about your dad in the

Chatsworth train crash. I don't know if you remember me, but I went to Capistrano Elementry school with you. My name is Audi Armstrong (now Murnane). I saw your picture in the paper today. Again my condolences to you and your family.

— Audi Murnane
September 15, 2008 at 9:20 p.m.

Thank you Eric Kingston for the lyrics that seek to comfort.

Music comforts and heals.

I hope that we will find out what happened, act on safety changes, and that their deaths are not in vain.

— Fellow Commuter
September 15, 2008 at 11:49 p.m.

Dennis worked for the same aerospace company as I. Although I didn't know him personally, its safe to say that he will be truly missed. I will pray for Dennis and his family.

Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne (Chatsworth)

— Diane
September 16, 2008 at 12:43 a.m.

He was my teacher a stoneridge preparatory and he and his wife did great things for me and they hold a special place in my heart

— nathaniel
September 16, 2008 at 9:07 a.m.

I rode to and from work with Dennis For more or less the last year. It was an honor to be in his company. A teacher, musician, a family man, who had a great sense of humor. Riding to work will never be the same, but I know Dennis loved the trip, he always wanted to continue on past his stop.

— Jeff Vine
September 16, 2008 at 3:33 p.m.

My dad called me about 3 hours after the crash and told me that Bunky was on a train that crashed but that Maria had not heard from him yet. My worst fear was confirmed when dad called me and said Bunky was gone.

I have fond memories of Bunky since I was a little kid and he was part of my family it seemed like. Having the Trio rehearsing in our living room for many years with Bunky playing his very cool Guitarone Mexican Bass will always be an impression in my mind.

I remember when I was in High School and our family was stuck at Universal Studios with a burned out starter, it was Bunky who came to our rescue with a new starter that I installed in the parking lot.

I once stowed away in the back of my dad's Volkwagen bug so I could go to bunky's and play with Scott.

I'm helping dad make arrangements so he can make the service on Friday.

That Metro train needed Captain Dew from the ship Santiana I can still hear Bunky sing.

My thoughts and prayers will remain with you Maria, Jeannette and Scott. I know he is happy looking down on the beautiful family that he and Maria created.

Job well done Bunky! Heave away!

Encinitas, CA

— Randy, Earls Son
September 16, 2008 at 3:52 p.m.

Mrs. Arnold and Jeanette,
We are so very sorry for your loss. We feel so priviledged to have know Dennis (Mr. Arnold to Andrew). I know that he made such an impact in Andrew's life as his teacher at Stoneridge Prep and we will forever be grateful. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May Dennis rest in peace.

— Debbie & Tim Nicoll
September 16, 2008 at 4:48 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Maria, Scott and Jeannette,

My Father worked with Dennis for years at Rockwell.

I remember how much help Dennis was to my father when my brother was killed in a car accident at the age of 18.

Dennis was then that same help to me when my father died. He called to see if I was okay, then sent me a letter with stories about my dad.

I can remember Dad telling me about fly fished with Dennis and how much fun he had.

Dennis touched so many lives with his smile and wonderful music. You will be missed.

I know that Dennis and my Dad are fly fishing in the best river ever.

Gail Dummer

— Gail Dummer (Charlie's Daughter)
September 16, 2008 at 6:11 p.m.

It is still mind-numbing to think that Dennis is gone! To me, he was always larger than life, and was in on so many good things. He surfed, sailed, sang, and perhaps more than anything else, loved; his family and friends realize now -more than ever- how lucky they were to have him in their lives. My own friendship with Dennis was forged out of our common love of traditional music, and I was fortunate enought to play the banjo in his band for twenty years. His warmth, humor, and gentle friendliness were always in evidence; his generosity was also extraordinary as well, and I remember many gigs where he divided the money up for everyone but himself! For several days, I have been listening to traditional music, and hearing some of the songs that we played, like "Whoa, Mule, Whoa!" and "Bill Cheatham" bring back fond memories of a golden time. I look forward to the day when we can all meet together with Dennis in a better place than this world, and in the meantime, the world is chillier and grayer without him-

We love you, Bunky-
Michael Van Slooten
Connie Cervera Van Slooten

— Michael Van Slooten
September 16, 2008 at 7:43 p.m.

I met Dennis only this year at work, and worked with him only briefly, but I quickly came to know him as a thoughtful and gentle man.

Godspeed, Dennis

— Scott Halloran
September 16, 2008 at 10:45 p.m.

I rode the Metro with Dennis from Camarillo to my stop in Simi Valley. A wonderful and good person that I miss.

— Paul Guthrie
September 17, 2008 at 5:15 a.m.

Although I didn't know Dennis we are both a part of the Rocketdyne family. I'm sorry our paths never crossed. As I watched the tragedy unfold on television I prayed that we would not lose one of our own. To come to work Monday morning and hear that we did brought such sorrow.

My heart truly goes out to the Arnold family.

— Rocketdyne Employee
September 17, 2008 at 7:14 a.m.

How saddened I was to hear of the loss of Bunky. Some of my fondest memories go back to when we grew up together on the same street in Mar Vista. These are just a few - of the times we rode the Street car to Venice Beach. When Bunky rented movies and would show them in his garage. He would have chairs set up for the kids and we would pay something like 5 cents to watch the cartoons. And of the times we shot baskets on McCune and of our days at Venice High School.
Madge and I enjoyed the music of the talented Shenandoah trio - Bunky, Earl and Rich, we attended their performance at the "Ice House" and we always thought that they should have been famous.
I hadn't seen him for a long time - since my family and I moved away to attend BYU but I have thought of him often. He was a special friend and a good example - he was pure gold in my opinion. Our thoughts and prayers and deepest sympathy go to Maria, Jeanette and Scott

— Delano Ford
September 17, 2008 at 11:33 a.m.

Dear Maria, Scott and Jeanette,
I am in such shock after receiving the tragic news about Dennis!
I've known Bunky since we were both in Mrs. Johnson's 5th. grade class at Betsy Ross elementary school in Mar Vista. He was always special: kind, talented and a friend to all. I had quite a crush on him! We were friends and "compadres" in part due to the fact we were probably the only two Republican kids in a sea of Democratic classmates, (or at least the only two brave enough to stand up and vote Republican when "mock" elections were held at school).
Bunky and I went on to Venice Jr. and Sr. High School and then to Brigham Young University. We remained friends thru the years, and I always looked forward to seeing him at our Class of '51 Venice High Reunions. He and Earl and Rich were the best entertainment ever. Their music was great and their homespun humor made us all laugh. I was so pleased to meet you, Maria, at the reunions. I remember sitting with you and Bunky at one of the dinners and seeing the pride and love you had for Bunky. I could also see how much he loved you and his children. Like all of his many, many friends, I thought the world of him. We share the same faith and trust in our Heavenly Father's Plan of Salvation. I know you will be reunited as an Eternal Family one day. May you find comfort and peace in that knowledge, and may your grief and sorrow lessen as you feel the prayers of so many who loved Dennis and care so much for you.

God bless you and your family. HE WAS ONE OF A KIND!

— Marian Petersen Guiver- Highland, UT
September 17, 2008 at 9:09 p.m.

Dennis- I do not know who you are but I desperatly called every hospital looking for you and my friend Chris Aiken. Please take care of each other up in heaven and protect your families here on earth. God Speed.

— Monica Lichtenstein
September 18, 2008 at 4:11 p.m.

Dear Maria and family, we have never met, but "Bunky" and I were classmates at Venice High School when it was a six year school. I have not seen him in many years, but to find out he is no longer with you and your family has sadden me so much, and is hard to believe. He was indeed a fun loving young man, and enjoyed all the service he contributed to "our" wonderful six years of Jr./Sr. High.
Please know that my love is with you and your family.

— Sunnie Junget Akana
September 18, 2008 at 9:28 p.m.

Im so sorry for your lost, i know exactly how you feel, my father also passed in that train accident. i will keep him and your family all in my prays.

— Mey Chao
September 19, 2008 at 9:25 a.m.

I was so saddened to read of Mr. Arnold's passing. He was my favorite teacher at Stoneridge, my love of history is a direct result of the time I spent with him. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

— Kyle Valentine
September 19, 2008 at 5:13 p.m.

It was my good fortune to know Dennis and to get to play a lot of Bluegrass Music with him. He went out of his way to give me rides to Ojai to play at the Farmer's Market on some Sunday mornings. Dennis, his son and I performed for his church about a month ago where he told me that we should play music every chance we got because we didn't know how much longer we had. It wasn't long enough my friend. He was a real treasure and I will miss him. My condolences to his family and many friends.

— Carl Blevins, Ventura
September 20, 2008 at 10:02 a.m.


September 20, 2008 at 2:36 p.m.

I miss you very much. I ate lunch with Dennis at Rocketdyne most every day. Talking with Dennis brightened my day. We talked about fishing, camping, family and church. Dennis I will miss you enormously. May God comfort you and bless the entire Arnold family. You are the best.

— John Lee
September 22, 2008 at 10:53 a.m.

I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Arnold as a student at Stoneridge. I am forever grateful for Mr. and Mrs. Arnold's contributions to my life. My heart and prayers go out the family. He will be missed.

— Donald Taylor, Berkeley
September 23, 2008 at 8:23 a.m.

When I first met Dennis, it was back in the early 70s through his daughter Jeanette, whom I knew through our church. I was just becoming reacquainted with Dennis, also being a guitar player, we exchanged music through our mutual friend Tim Rosevear. When Tim emailed me the sad news that Dennis was one of the fatalities in the wreck, I went into shock. I am still in shock and very saddened by his passing. From what I have read here, Dennis possessed a very special soul and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My heart goes out to you, Maria, Scott, and Jeanette.

— Nick Stasinos, Rosemead
September 26, 2008 at 8:08 p.m.

Though we all may have lost someone who is a big part of our lives and our hearts and we are not able to replace or fill that emptyness that our love ones have taken with them when they left this world. but i hope that maybe we all can come together and allow each other to come into each others lives since i know that we all share the same pain. when my father passed in that metrolink 2008 crash my life has not been the same and its been very difficult, my father left behind his wife and 5 children and so many grand children, and we all miss and love him so much but talkin about him with my family and remembering all the good times we had with him helps us with our pain of losing him. so i just would like to let you all know i am here if you need to talk or just someone to listen to you. my email is

my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 9:39 a.m.

We did not know Dennis but our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. We also lost our son, Christopher on the train and know the heartache and sorrow you are feeling. May all your wonderful memories of him sustain you and help you to get through this most difficult time. Donna & Roy Aiken

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 1:27 p.m.

I am so sorry for your loss. My memories of Dennis are early in my life. I remember his great talent for music. My Mom, Joan Rosell, sang with Dennis in the Shenandoah Trio. I remember the group practicing. I was always impressed with the guitars, incredible players and singers. My favorite song was Santiago. I assume the family has a copy?

— Mike Rosell
November 2, 2008 at 1:35 p.m.

Here is my email if the family needs a copy of the recording of Santiago sung by the Shenandoah Trio. I loved the way Dennis played the guitaron in this recording.

— Mike Rosell
November 3, 2008 at 2:10 p.m.

Dennis and I played together at many gigs-- including steadily with The Iron Mountain Boys for years.

Dennis was a fine, generous human being, an excellent singer and guitar player.

I discovered this obituary shortly after Thanksgiving, 2010.

I think of you often, Dennis, and the companionship we shared as band members.

Norman Mallory, Ventura, Ca

— Norman Mallory
November 27, 2010 at 5:03 p.m.

Just now (Jan 2014) I learned Dennis had passed. I played fiddle in his family bluegrass band years ago, even though I wasn't family. I was impressed by his lokomaika'i (Hawaiian for good heartedness, plus). Nui kona aloha!

— Mike McClellan
January 22, 2014 at 7:29 a.m.

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Keep in mind
  • The Times initially mispelled the name of Michael Hammersley and Beverly Mosley.
  • The coroner's office reported a 26th victim the afternoon of Sept. 15, but a few hours later said the tally was 25.

Chatsworth Metrolink Crash is the Los Angeles Times' database of fatalities from the Sept. 12, 2008, train collision.

Latest Numbers

25 dead

135 injured

About the Data Desk

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