Cover photo for Michael T Arndt's Obituary
Michael T Arndt Profile Photo

Michael T Arndt

April 7, 1936 — June 2, 2022

Michael Arndt was many things to many people. A comic book artist, an illustrator, an electrical engineer, a Navy guided missileman, a NASA rocket technician, a magician, philosopher, theologian, an occult bookshop owner, a commercial artist, a writer, set designer, computer programer, story teller, and a Tai Chi instructor.

Always generous with his knowledge and time, and a perpetual student and teacher, he influenced several generations of artists and creators. His door was always open to people in need and his life deeply touched everyone who knew him.

A nationally accomplished visual artist Michael’s skills in illustration and storytelling afforded him opportunities to ink for Al Capp and Leonard Starr. As a comic book artist for Marvel Comics, he collaborated with towering comic book names like Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, illustrating iconic characters including the Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, Thor, and the Incredible Hulk. His passion for the visual arts placed his drawings in the hands of millions and led him to mentor countless artists around the world.

Beyond the wonder of the comic book pages, many will remember Michael for the magic he saw in the natural world. His desk was cluttered with books of theology, philosophy, mysticism, and fiction, all topics on which he was an expert and through which he explained the magic he saw in every setting and interaction. Through his time in the Navy, his degree in electrical engineering, and his stint at Bell Labs, Michael honed his technical prowess, finding the loopholes in nature’s mechanics and developing a love of computers he maintained for the rest of his life. A friend of adult and child alike, Michael conceptualized McDonaldland characters like the Hamburglar and the Fry Guys, and built magic props for early editions of the shows. Later, as a master illusionist, Michael invented and performed magic of his own ideation, changing the way others saw ordinary objects and, with a glimmer in his eye, adding to the enchantment he knew was always there to be discovered.

Still others will remember Michael for the wealth of knowledge he accumulated and shared with anyone who would listen. Perfected from the years he spent running the occult bookstore, Botega Logos, Michael could recommend a dozen books on any subject that he had not only read but likely memorized pages to thoughtfully discuss. As a teacher for elementary and high schoolers and as an instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, he challenged students to take risks, create, and stretch the limits of their imagination. From his own experiences, which included a museum tour with Aldous Huxley and a stay in India with George Harrison, he gave unrivaled advice that drew others together and expanded the possibilities of what life can include.

While so many things to so many people, above all, Michael will be remembered for his welcoming spirit. While never shy of a good debate, his ability to listen and learn from those around him is unrivaled in its open-mindedness. In fact, the more someone would disagree with him, the more reasons he would find to become their loyal friend. Whether you saw him a day ago or three decades ago, he was there, whatever you needed, whenever you needed, especially if the stakes were high, especially if you needed his help when it mattered the most. Liberal or conserative, lost or found, rich or poor, they all came to Michael. And through all his accomplishments it was for those closest to him that his loyalty and respect shined most intensely. He raised six incredible children and eleven grandchildren who he adored and encouraged to pursue the fullest extent of their dreams. And he would freely and regularly admit that his wife of over fifty years, Nancy, was the greatest thing that ever happened to him.

In his last days, he was surrounded by his family as he met friends both old and new. As it became clear that his body was failing, he asked Jesus if He was ready to take him and on Thursday, June 2nd, after being serenaded with music from family friends and with Nancy at his side, He responded. She told him she'd be right back and walked the singers out of the room. Before leaving, Michael told her he loved her. He was 86 years old.

Michael will be remembered by his wife Nancy; his six children, Greg, Matthew, Peter, Jesse, John, and Maggie; his eleven grandchildren, Spencer, Ella, Brittney, Madeline, Amalia, Elise, Jack, Isla, Calvin, Charlie, and Harper; and his extended family, friends, and students.

The family wishes to thank the compassion and attentive care of all those who were with Michael at Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital and Angels Grace Hospice. In lieu of flowers, they ask that you donate money to your local public school to support their arts program.

The Funeral Service will be held at St. Joan of Arc Church in Nashotah on June 8, 2022 at 12:00 preceded by an 11:00 visitation with the family.
Burial service is to follow at 2:00 pm at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael T Arndt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

120 Nashotah Road
Nashotah, WI 53058

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Add to Calendar

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

120 Nashotah Road
Nashotah, WI 53058

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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