Arke, Douglas Del

Douglas “Doug” Del Arke, MSgt., USAF (Retired)
April 17, 1943 – October 21, 2009

Douglas “Doug” Del Arke, age 66, of Niceville, Fla., passed away Oct. 21, 2009, following a determined battle with heart disease. He was born on April 17, 1943, in Petaluma, Calif., to the late Elwood and Lenora Arke.

He was raised in Petaluma until moving to Texas during high school. In 1961 he graduated from South San Antonio High School where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Gail.

Doug, a Vietnam veteran and retired master sergeant proudly served our country for 26 years in the U.S. Air Force as a fire fighter and helicopter crew chief. He moved to Florida upon his military retirement.

Doug was a loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather and brother. He was very mechanically inclined and enjoyed working on projects in his home and garage. Despite the challenges life presented he always kept a positive attitude, was inspiring and encouraging, and never had a negative word to say about anybody.

He is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Gail Arke of Niceville; son, Michael and his wife Shellie of DeFuniak Springs, Fla.; son, Shawn and his wife Nani of Pearl City, Hawaii; daughter, Brook Arke Hay and her husband Dustin Hay of Parrish, Fla.; grandson, Keanu; granddaughters, BrieAnna, Kehau, Allie and Madison; sister, Gloria Smith of Bend, Ore.; nieces and nephews; and many wonderful friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Kenneth Arke.

Funeral services will held on Monday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m. at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home, 2201 N. Partin Drive, Niceville (850-729-1955), with a viewing one hour prior to the service. Interment with military honors will follow in Heritage Gardens Cemetery. You may share memories and condolences to the family at

The family would like to offer a special thank you to all the wonderful “angels on earth” who provided such compassionate care over the past few years.

Memorial donations in Doug’s name may be made to the American Heart Association, 1101 Northchase Pkwy., Suite 1, Marietta, GA. 30067 (1-800-242-8721). You may find Doug’s memorial page on the American Heart Association website (

Heritage Gardens Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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