It is with deep sadness that we report, Dr. Mark Arnett, Associate Professor of Physical Education, lost a courageous months-long battle with gastric cancer. This is a huge loss to our entire community. Everyone who worked with Mark knew him to be a generous, caring, thoughtful, and hard-working colleague, with tremendous enthusiasm for his research and his students, and enormous energy for life. He was gentle, humane, and always cheerful. Even as he underwent excruciating cancer treatments, Mark retained his upbeat, optimistic outlook. He was ever-hopeful. Just a few months ago, he attended a College-wide meeting, wanting to remain actively involved as we worked on our Focused Excellence plan. He also had been serving on the CoE Dean’s Search Committee.
Mark began his career in education as a hockey coach in extreme northern Canada. He eventually completed his Ed.D. in exercise physiology and kinesiology at Northern Colorado University. He came to the UA five years ago from Manhattan College, and has made significant contributions to the Program in Physical Education ever since. He played a prominent role in physical education throughout Arizona, working to promote physical education standards and as part of a state commission for a healthy Arizona. At the time of his death, Mark was leading a TAAG (Trial of Activity in Adolescent Girls) grant, with colleagues in the Departments of Physiological Sciences and Nutritional Sciences. With the Tucson Unified School District, he was also involved in two U.S. Department of Education grants to increase physical activity among middle and high school students, and he was working on a diabetes research and intervention project with the Havasupai Tribe. Mark’s expertise in measuring physical activity levels was essential to the latter project’s implementation and success. In the relatively brief time of his involvement with the Havasupai, he had already become a favorite visitor to Supai Village, well liked by the children and highly respected by parents, grandparents, and the staff of the local school.
Mark’s wife, Jaimie, is a special education teacher in Tucson. The Arnetts have two college-age children, Jay and Marnie, and an 8-month-old granddaughter. Mark’s parents live in Green Valley, Arizona. He died peacefully at home with his family.
A memorial service is planned at McKale Center on the afternoon of January 14. Arrangements are still under way; we will provide details as they are available. In the meantime, Mark’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Mark Arnett Scholarship Fund.
To Mark’s family, we extend our heartfelt sympathy. We have lost a very special colleague, and the world has lost a wonderful human being.
This was a letter to the Faculty and Staff at The University of Arizona from Dr. Teresa L. McCarty, Professor and Interim Dean, College of Education, University of Arizona.
Please send all contributions to:
University of Arizona
CoE Development Office
C/O: Nina Daldrup
PO Box 210069
1430 East 2nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85721-0069