Note: This page is presented to you courtesy of the Grandle Funeral Home and we wish to thank "Jerry" Grandle for allowing this to be presented here.
Jack Hollis Arbogast, 85, died on Oct. 15, 2014 in his daughter's home in Roanoke, VA. He was born June 19, 1929 to devoted parents Leslie Herman and Mary Valentine Arbogast in Junior, WV. Jack is survived by his wife of 63 years, Doris Dacal Arbogast, one daughter; Deborah Arbogast Newman and her husband Robert; and son Jack Hollis Arbogast, Jr. Jack Sr. has three grandchildren; Brett Newman, Jeremy Newman, and Alexandra Arbogast. Jack has four great grandchildren; Brett's twins Amari and Amia; and Jeremy and Kristin's kids, Camden and Jace Newman. Jack is predeceased by his brothers Bob, Charles, and Dave; and his sisters Lois and Frances. The lone surviving sibling is his brother Don; and sisters-in-law Marty, Jo Mae, and Mary.
Jack grew up and attended school in a coal mining town in West Virginia. Jack was a 3 sport star at Belington High School, earning 9 letters, and receiving All State honors in basketball. At age 17, Jack and a buddy hitchhiked from Junior, WV to Norfolk, VA with $20 in their pocket and boarded a ship as a Seagoing Cowboy to transport horses to war ravaged Poland. He went on to play basketball and graduate from Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, and earned a Master's Degree at the University of Virginia. At the age of 22, Jack joined the Army and served for 2 years during the Korean War era. During his service, he was exposed to radiation while working in the nuclear testing program conducted in Nevada. This ultimately led to his demise.
He started his life-long path dedicated to education and sports at Victoria High School (now Lunenburg Central). At Victoria, he was a teacher, Head Basketball Coach, Head Baseball Coach, and Offensive Coordinator of the football team. He took over a basketball team that had lost all 17 games the year before. His team steadily improved, and the 3rd year they won 17 games including a regular season championship. The following year his team recorded 16 wins and another regular season championship and tournament championship, falling in the regional playoffs. The next year a magical, 21-0 undefeated season unfolded; the team eventually fell in the state finals. He was a combined 74-22 with 2 state tournament teams. His baseball teams were 42-30 and he had the privilege of coaching a major league pitcher. To this day, he is considered by many to have been the best high school basketball coach to ever come through Lunenburg County. I think the following statement written by Wade Smithson in The Kenbridge- Victoria Dispatch following the 1961 undefeated season speaks volumes, "We the students and players feel that this fine record is largely due to the fine leadership and ability of Coach Arbogast. We feel privileged to have a man of such fine character, and high morals as a teacher and coach." In 1962, Jack and his family moved to Shenandoah Valley to coach at Elkton High School for one year where he was Head Basketball coach, assistant football coach, and JV football coach. He led the JV football team to an undefeated season averaging 40 points per game and only allowing 1 touchdown the entire year. He then moved on to Broadway High School inheriting a winless football team. Jack led their program to 2 championships in 4 years (one team missed an undefeated season by 1 point). In 2012 he was inducted into the Broadway High School Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Dayton Church of the Brethren.
In 2010, Jack was inducted into the Shenandoah Valley Athletic Club Honor Roll.
Jack began his college career at Millersville State College in Pennsylvania where he was Assistant Basketball and Assistant Football coach. The basketball team made it to the NAIA tournament. The next chapter in Jack's life continued at Shenandoah College (Head Basketball Coach) but he also got his start in administration serving as Athletic Director. Jack returned to Rockingham County as Director of Parks & Recreation, where he organized and implemented the 1st rural recreation program in the state of Virginia. He furthered his career at Madison College (now James Madison University) where he worked for 18 years. He served as Director of Athletic Facilities and Administrative Assistant in the Athletic Dept., Assistant Football coach, Head Tennis coach (15 years), and taught in the Kinesiology Dept. Jack also was a high school and college baseball and basketball official, and was the Commissioner of the Valley League. After retiring, he was volunteer assistant basketball and tennis coach at Eastern Mennonite College and volunteered at Wilbur Pence Middle School.
Special thanks to caregiver Lisa Milirons for the care, love and support she gave him for over a year. Also thanks to Good Samaritan Hospice for their care in the end. A special thanks to Bob & Deb Newman for building an in-law suite on the back of their home where Jack & Doris have been living since May 2013.
Jack will be remembered fondly by his players and students and the many lives that he touched over a lifelong commitment as a coach, educator, mentor, administrator, and friend. He was passionate about the importance of hard work, perseverance, fairness, self-confidence, team play and the competitive spirit. His close friend and former player Randy Cline so eloquently stated in an email what Jack was all about, "Coach, you taught me life's tenets through the game of football, for that I thank you. Things like teamwork, spirit, goal achievement and sacrifice helped me through the military, college, and work endeavors. Your guiding hand was always firm but never harsh. A lot of coaches could use a lesson from you in their approach to teaching the game."
The family will receive friends from 12:30-2 pm on Sunday at the Grandle Funeral Home in Broadway, VA with a funeral service by Rev. Marty Doss to follow at 2 PM. Burial will follow at Eastlawn Memorial Gardens in Harrisonburg.
We will have a celebration of life service at a later date.
Remembrances in honor of Jack may be made to a youth athletic team of your choice.