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Twilia Sue (Haught) Arthaud

Born: Thu., Nov. 22, 2018
Died: Tue., Oct. 30, 2018


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Rogers, Arkansas
Twilia Sue "Billie" (Haught) Arthaud, 84 daughter of Margaret Elizabeth Roberts and Everett Whitney Haught, was born on November 22, 1933 in Danville, Pennsylvania. She grew up in and around Northumberland, Pennsylvania, with her older sister Betty and younger siblings Shirley, Sonny (Everett Jr.), and eventually Jackie. Being raised by two working parents, having a large family, and living in the country during the Great Depression shaped her personality. Twilia quickly learned to be self-sufficient and scrappy, skills that would serve her well throughout her future nursing career.

Twilia graduated from Northumberland High School in 1951. She then attended nurses' training at Geisinger Memorial Hospital and Geisinger and Foss Clinic in Danville from 1951 to 1954. After ten years of work experience, Twilia entered the Army Nurse Corps, leaving from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a 1st Lieutenant.

Following three months of basic training in San Antonio, Texas, Twilia deployed to the 121 Evacuation Hospital in Inchon, Korea in December 1964. She received an Army Commendation medal for her 12-month service as an operating room nurse and staff nurse of acute surgical and medical patients. She returned to the United States in January 1966 as the head nurse of an officer's unit at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received another Army Commendation medal. Her supervisor wrote that she "demonstrated exceptional professional ability, outstanding organizational and leadership qualities, and a dedicated interest in providing total patient care." However, her heart was with "the boys" and she petitioned the Army to redeploy to Vietnam sooner than was normally permitted. Since promoted to Captain, Twilia served at the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon from August 1966 to August 1967 in the emergency and operating rooms and as head nurse of intensive surgical and medical care. Always the adventurer, she went on an unauthorized outing with a friend and came under sniper fire; fortunately, she was not injured and was not caught being off-base. She received a Bronze Star medal for her "initiative, zeal, sound judgment, and devotion to duty" during her deployment to Vietnam.

Two more state-side assignments followed, including Valley Forge Hospital in Pennsylvania and Letterman General Hospital at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. Twilia met Captain Larry Arthaud in January 1969 and married him on May 10 that same year at the post chapel in a small, local ceremony with friends. She later explained that when you get married somewhat later in life, you just know when you find the right person. She first "met" her in-laws on a phone call where she was introduced as Larry's new "roommate."

Her papers for promotion to major came through as she received a medical discharge for pregnancy from the Army Nurse Corps in May 1970. Daughter Marne Lynn was born in August 1970; both mother and daughter received a Commendation medal for distinguished service. Twilia considered the five and a half years spent in the Corps as the best nursing experience anyone could hope for. She trained in multiple specialties, developed strong leadership skills, learned how to stay calm under pressure, and performed many procedures that were ordinarily restricted to doctors stateside. Her travels throughout the United States and to Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Japan gave her insight into just how different - and how similar - countries really are.

Twilia also appreciated nursing's flexibility, as she continued to work in various positions as Larry pursued doctoral studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, and then launched a career as a toxicologist. Daughter Nicole Rene was born in July 1972, completing their family of two kids and two beloved (but stupid if you ask Larry) beagle dogs, Monique and Monte. Several cats were eventually added to the brood of "fur babies," including Star, Sabrina, Star 2, Tommy, and by far the most doted on, Rocky. The family migrated every few years, following Larry's career as he moved from Wilmington, Delaware, to Hamburg, New Jersey, and back to Delaware again. Twilia loved being close enough to help nurse her parents through their later years, making monthly visits back to Northumberland.

When Larry took early retirement to join a start-up oncology firm, Twilia returned with him to San Antonio in 1995, and officially retired from nursing. Both daughters, now grown, likewise followed and spent their early careers close by in Texas. In her later years, Twilia enjoyed shopping, traveling via cruises, and planning for life after Larry's retirement. Their final move brought them to Rogers, Arkansas, in 2014.

Twilia passed away on October 30, 2018 from pneumonia contracted following surgery. The past year was difficult as she dealt with osteoarthritis, COPD, and a compressed cervical disc. Her feisty spirit kept her going far longer than most would have been able to.

She is survived by her husband, Larry Arthaud, two daughters - Marne Arthaud-Day (husband Brian) from Manhattan, Kansas and Nicole Marsh (husband Kevin), and three grandchildren (Koen Patrick Arthaud-Day, Holden Timothy Arthaud-Day, and Elizabeth Eowyn Marsh). She has two surviving siblings, Jackie Haught of Shokan, New York and Shirley (Haught) Simmons of Wallingford, Connecticut, as well as several nieces and nephews and their children. She especially enjoyed calls and visits from niece Margaret (Anderson) Schelde and "adopted" daughter Michelle (Hale) Williams in recent years. Friends and family may visit from 1:00pm to 2:00pm Friday, November 16, 2018 at Christ United Methodist Church, Front and King Streets, Northumberland. A memorial service will follow at 2:00pm with Rev. Joan Dodson officiating.

Interment with military honors accorded by the American Legion Post #44, will follow in Riverview Cemetery, Northumberland.
Arrangements are by the Joseph W. Epler Funeral 210 King Street, Northumberland.

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