Obituary Listings

John Matthews Arkley

July 20, 1957 March 11, 2021
John Matthews Arkley
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Obituary for John Matthews Arkley
John Matthew Arkley

John was born in Arcata on July 20, 1957. From an early age, he loved to hunt and fish and just be outdoors. It is because of John that the Arkley household had cats and dogs. Many of his dogs ended up in his parents' household. We will always remember Nik the Airedale and Babe the Queensland Blue Healer which was originally John's. His special dogs were Labrador retrievers, Trey, Sid, and Tea, which he trained for hunting but, make no mistake he loved those special dogs dearly. He always had a horse and that led to rodeo competitions for team roping and winning two championships in the state of Alaska.

John attended Arcata High School and graduated from the Judson School in Scottsdale Arizona. After a year at Colorado State University, John decided to go at ferrier school and it become his passion. He was a sculptor at heart and, of course, it was outdoors and that suited him fine. He enjoyed going to conventions and passed along his knowledge and expertise to others.

John made the decision to move from California to Palmer, Alaska (outside of Anchorage) where he set up a ferrier business. He loved Alaska and its wide open spaces and he hunted and fished all over the state. During this time he also became a hunting guide in Montana. There is a legendary tale involving John and a bear! He ultimately purchased a "home" in Cold Bay, Alaska where he took delight in walking the beach and picking up fishing net glass balls, hunting ducks and fishing for salmon. There is also a tale of John and a friend getting marooned on an island. they were rescued but John's fingers and toes were frostbitten and never were the same.

John also had adventures in the lower 48, specifically in Arizona and most recently outside of Hollis, Oklahoma where he built his forever home and set about yanking every mesquite tree out of the land as he tried to reestablish the prairie. Horses were there, of course.

He and his wife Stephanie were married March 3, 2018, and they adored each other. It was truly a love match and although their time together was cut short by John's death, they has such fun.

John is survived by his wife Stephanie and his step-son Luke Randall. He is also survived by his sister Ann Tidwell; his brother Rob Arkley and wife Cherie; niece Allison Holland and Elizabeth Hammett. John has a special relationship with his nephews by marriage, Jeff Holland and Grey Hammett. He encouraged and participated with them in hunting trips. John always did the planning because he was a perfectionist.

Above all, John lived his life on his own terms and with gusto. We will miss him more than words can express.
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