By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
Adam Ray Arbogast at the young age of 37 passed in November of 2021 and was laid to rest on December 2, 2021. Although he has passed in this life and move on to his next one, Arbogast’s memory still remains with his family, friends and co-workers. The Beyond the Call of Duty End of Watch Ride to Remember honored his life by adding his picture to their wall and riding their motorcycles to greet the family and friends.
Although young in age, Arbogast achieved what many would consider greatness. He was the loving son of Rebecca (Becky) Sue Vandevender and Cletus “Ray” Arbogast. He was also a loving father to Amberlynn Rose Arbogast. After graduating from Tucker County High School, he attended the Corrections Academy. He later became an EMT while also working for the Tucker County 911 dispatch center and as the Code Enforcer for the City of Parsons Police Department. For over 20 years Arbogast was an active member of the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department.
City of Parsons Chief of Police, Kevin Keplinger, spoke about Arbogast to his family and friends. Keplinger said, “I had the honor of working with Adam for far too short period of time, but it was definitely one of the highlights of my career. Over the years I had the opportunity to work with him through 911 and the fire service with many, many calls many times. He was that voice in the night when we were out and quite frankly you need someone out there. You want to hear a friendly voice, and a voice that you recognize. For me, for years, Adam was that voice. I truly appreciated that out of him.
In the Army and then in public service you become a brotherhood or sisterhood. And you really become closer to the people that you work with and sometimes even family members. Adam became that to me. He became a brother to me. I absolutely loved Adam with quirks and all. We have them. He was Adam and he was all heart. If you knew Adam, you knew he was all heart.”
City of Parsons Madame Mayor, Dorothy Judy, added, “I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Adam. Jimmy was his bus driver and if anyone is going to say anything bad you it is your bus driver. There are no teachers or parents around and Jimmy said Adam was a good, good boy. So, apparently Adam was an example for all of us. Praise the Lord because Adam was here, and we all knew him.”
Parsons Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Kevin White ,honored Arbogast by saying, “Adam was a great, valuable community servant. He joined the fire department twenty some years ago prior to his passing and he never once backed down and was there when the call came out. Adam embraced the fire service and he learned from the older gentlemen in the fire service. He became a great leader.
Adam took on the role of educating our children in the school systems. Every year Adam would spend countless hours selflessly into 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning getting a program ready for the kids the next day. He would take that program to kids and educated them in the school system.
Adam will be remembered for many, many years for the service he has brought to Tucker County.”
Director of the Tucker County 911, Beverly Cantrell, honored her dear friend and employee by reading a message sent to her from Deputy Director Mike Simmons. Cantrell read, “He was the type of person that loved to learn, and he loved to share what he learned with everyone. He was always making someone chuckle in a unique way that only Adam could do. He was a man that everyone remembered after meeting him and will be greatly missed.” Cantrell thanked the family for sharing Arbogast with his fellow co-workers.
Simmons with tears in his eyes said Arbogast who was not just his co-worker but his friend. Simmons said, “The first memory I have of Adam was at the bowling alley. He was young and sitting on Ray’s knee getting bounced and he was happy. He was so full of life. He was vibrant and everything about him shined. And that is the way he approached life.
He was vibrant in everything he did. He had a huge heart. He also had a duty to serve in a way a lot of other people would not. He put in the long hours when everybody else was too busy. He did the jobs nobody else wanted to do because he knew they needed done and he would make the best of it.
My condolences to the family because I can not imagine how this has been for you. He is my first friend that I have lost, and I am really going to miss him.”
Keplinger presented Arbogast’s daughter Amberlynn with a painted ornament that was sent to the department in honor of Arbogast and a folded flag to Arbogast’s parents, Becky and Roy.
The Beyond the Call of Duty End of Watch Ride began on June 1 in Spokane, Washington and will continue for 79 days by stopping in 268 different locations across the United States to honor fallen men and women of uniform. The stop in Parsons was on day 59 of their journey. According to their website at www.endofwatchride.com, “Our purpose is to ensure that no officer is forgotten, that their families know their loved one has not been forgotten; and that there is recognition, support and understanding to help them heal. We also support department safety and training to help lower the number of fallen officers we see each year.”
Adam Roy Arbogast will forever live on the hearts and memories of his family, friends, and every one touched by his love!