Arnold J. Mariani, 64 of Rockford, IL, and formerly of Belvidere, IL, passed away peacefully early Tuesday morning, September 14th from complications related to his treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Arnold was born September 20, 1956, in Chicago, IL the son of Arnold J. and Alice M. (Barthelemy) Mariani. He married Sarah J. Erwin on November 19, 1988, at First United Methodist Church in Belvidere. Arnold spent his career in law enforcement with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department where he retired as sergeant in 2009 after 32 years of service and protection.
One of his main goals in life was to provide for his family. When he learned of his diagnosis he single-mindedly set about making sure his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters would be well taken care of, and that his legacy would live on through the generations. He loved to spoil his granddaughter, Quinn, and was looking forward to spoiling his new granddaughter. Always concerned about John and his family, he was smoking meat in preparation for the arrival of the new baby when he decided he needed to go to the hospital.
Arnold was inspirational to many people in pursuing challenging goals, whether it be running a marathon, becoming a police officer, or investing for the future. His influence was exemplified in his work with the Police Explorers and his support of elderly community members.
Arnold spent his time riding his bike, exercising, hanging out with his buddies at the gym, traveling, and keeping his yard perfect. He was a Chicago sports fan who took pride in flying the “W” flag.He was an avid whiskey collector who enjoyed visiting distilleries and fine spirit stores wherever he travelled. Friends and fellow enthusiasts were regularly lured to his bar to share a wee dram and hear his vast knowledge on the subject. His fondness for animals was such that he relocated squirrels and chipmunks from his yard to a new home so they wouldn’t dig up his lawn. He also let his granddog, Tessa, sample the meat he smoked, walk on his wood floors, and even sleep in his bed.
Arnold is loved and will be missed by his wife, Sarah; son, John (Jennah) Mariani; granddaughter, Quinn; and granddaughter on the way. He is preceded in death by his parents.
The family would like to thank the nurses, doctors and other medical staff at Javon Bea/Mercy Hospital, Swedish American Regional Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Rochester MN, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center. We will be forever grateful for their compassion and tireless efforts.
A visitation will begin at 1:00pm, Sunday, September 26, at 10333 Springborough Drive, Rockford, IL 61107. A celebration of life will follow at 3:00 in the same location, followed by a time of fellowship and light refreshment.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made online at https://secure.seattlecca.org or sent to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, PO Box 24385, Seattle, WA 98124-0385. Checks may be made payable to SCCA with indication that they are in memory of Arnold Mariani; or you can register to be a bone marrow donor through Be The Match.