NAD
Remembers
Arne Nielsen

The North American Division memory page for Arne P. Nielsen

A gifted leader, dedicated servant of God, true friend, cherished colleague, and devoted husband and father.

Arne meant so much to so many people around the world that the division has put together this page to honor his memory; to share messages for his dear family; and, as we grieve his passing, to create the sense of community that Arne fostered around him. Please share a photo or two and a few words — a fun experience, a lasting memory, a few words of comfort — here. It is our hope that these memories and messages will bring comfort, strength, and a healing spirit to those who deeply feel the void Arne has left. 

Messages from our NAD Administration

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away

Revelations 21:4, NKJV

EVENT INFORMATION

MEMORIAL SERVICES

SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2024, 1:00PM

North American Division
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046

 In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Josh’s fight against cancer
(Josh is the oldest of Arne and Teen’s three sons).

Go Fund Me Link: https://gofund.me/b1a1cfe3

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2024, 3:00PM

Mount Pisgah Academy SDA Church
21 Academy Drive
Candler, NC 28715

Remembering Dr. Arne Nielsen

Please share your messages of support below so we can include in our booklet.

Messages from our NAD Education Team

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:22, NKJV

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Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson
1 month ago

Arne completely changed the trajectory of my life. He believed in me before I believed in myself. Luckily I was able to tell him in person the impact he had in my life. True spiritual Giant

Richard Bianco
Richard Bianco
1 month ago

Arne was a wonderful person to work alongside. While working on the J2E 2.0 project, he not only inserted tremendous wisdom and guidance into the process, he make sure the process was fun along the way. His vast experience in the field helped give depth and context to our work and his willingness to assist and help was amazing. I learned much from that experience and am grateful to have worked alongside him on such an important endeavor. He will be missed, but we all know this separation is temporary, for we’ll see his big smile again soon. RIP my friend.

Jobeth Anne Gastardo
Jobeth Anne Gastardo
1 month ago

I met Mr. Arne in Chuuk SDA School back in 2016. He’s fun and approachable man. He’s always smiling and spend some time talking to us, missionaries.

Larry Blackmer
Larry Blackmer
1 month ago

Arne and Teen have been dear friends for close to 40 years. We have spent literally hundreds of hours together in many countries photographing wildlife. Arne was a dedicated educator, committed Christian, and loved his family dearly. I look forward to continuing our quest of the perfect shot in heaven!

LouAnn Howard
LouAnn Howard
1 month ago

Arne was a wonderful colleague and leader. While I only worked with him during his time at NAD, I quickly appreciated his kindness, willingness to listen and give counsel, and encouragement. His ready laugh and enjoyment of life will be missed. Looking forward to seeing him soon when Jesus returns.

Kevin Kossick
Kevin Kossick
1 month ago

To the consummate “nice guy”… we’ll miss ya buddy but the best is yet to come!

Murray J Cooper
Murray J Cooper
1 month ago

I knew Arne for about 20 years as we both returned from mission service about the same in the early 2000s and then bumped into one another over the years. When Arne left Florida Conference to head to the NAD in 2013, the new Florida Conference VP for Education, Frank Runnels, invited me to join the FLCOE team in 2014 and I continued to see him from time to time like at the 2018 NAD Teachers Convention in Chicago.

My best connection with Arne was in the past 18 months as I took over the Southern Union Education Director position. I was able to attend a number of UDOEC meetings as well as NAD Advisory meetings and I always appreciated how Arne kept the meetings moving along and how he respected everyone and their opinions. He always kept his eye on the goals for NAD education.

Starting in September 2023, Arne and I, along with some other folks like Keith Hallam started bringing our golf clubs to these meetings and to play a round of golf before the meetings began- Arne really seemed to enjoy these outings – so did I.

He will be missed but we have a blessed hope that one day we’ll be able to be with him again.

Murray Cooper

Kathy
Kathy
1 month ago

What an incredible loss. He was so kind to me when I joined the Florida Conference.
He really made you feel like you were a part of the family. May God be with his family at this difficult time.

Karen Williams
Karen Williams
1 month ago

He was Mr. Nielsen to me, although he was only a few years older. I was a junior at Mount Pisgah Academy when he and Teen arrived and joined the gymnastics team.

He spotted for me on a standing back flip during tryouts for the team. I had never attempted a standing back flip. I was no gymnast; my chances of getting on the team were low. But I got points for anything I tried, so I tried it all. I remember a ring of kids watching in disgust as I made a fool of myself over and over on every advanced, impossible move. But there was Mr. Nielsen, his hands ready to catch me, and I knew I would be okay. I made the team.

Arne Nielsen was kind and reasonable, fun and steady. He and Teen were so very young in those years! I didn’t see him again until I attended my first NAD teachers convention in Chicago, and then—Lo! There he was, a top dog! I was pleased.

How fitting that such a quality person would become a leader of many. I haven’t interacted with him in decades, but I look forward to the day when I can thank him for his genuine care, for always seeing into the heart, and for being at the ready to catch us if we stumbled.

Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
1 month ago

In academy (Mount Pisgah Academy), Arne was my faculty family dad for two years and my work supervisor/boss for three years. He always had a kind word of encouragement, was genuinely interested in all students and their spiritual and academic journey, and wasn’t afraid to call you out and admonish you to follow a higher calling. I never saw him get upset or frustrated or lash out at anyone.

Teen, our prayers are with you and your family (including Josh and his battle) as you navigate these trying times with so many changes. The Lord will sustain you and your family. Even come Lord Jesus!

Debra Fryson
Debra Fryson
1 month ago

Arne was an effective leader with a servant’s heart, and his love for God was exemplified in his daily life. He was kind and considerate, and made others feel at ease in his presence. He will be greatly missed.

Emgie Riano
Emgie Riano
1 month ago

The last time we met is at Phoenix, Arizona during the Teacher’s Convention. His last words before we separate is that ‘I want you to go back to GMM, if we can’t meet again, surely, we will meet in heaven’.
I have known Arne since 2012 way back in Yap SDA School during the AAA Accreditation visit in the school. When we moved to Ebeye SDA School we met again there and in Majuro SDA School both in Marshall Islands. He is such a great mentor and friend. He believes in my abilities and skills even though I am not for myself. He showed it to me in many ways and prayed for me. I have seen Jesus in his life. Until then, we have that great hope. ‘See you in that great resurrection day’. Thank you Arne. To his family, let’s hold on to our faith until the day of the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Surely, we will meet him there once again.

Lileth Coke
Lileth Coke
1 month ago

I met Arne Nielsen when I started working as Associate Director of Education & Certification Registrar at the Atlantic Union Conference. As I associated with Arne I found him to be knowledgeable, experienced, and forward thinking. He was a people person and an exemplary and focused leader. Indeed we have lost a great leader and mentor but we look forward to the second coming of Christ when all the faithful of the earth will be reunited.

Gladys S Guerrero
Gladys S Guerrero
1 month ago

The news of Arne’s passing broke my heart! I had seen him before leaving for my treatment in Mexico. He prayed for me and gave me a hug. As always, he tried to recruit me to go back to teaching! Oh I will miss you!
I will never forget his warm smile that day and his joke about my lunch group eating mangoes without him. He will be missed and I know I will see him in heaven. His kind heart and love for education will never be forgotten.

Gayle Fell
Gayle Fell
1 month ago

The brisk walk, engaging smile, twinkle in his eye, delightful sense of humor; total commitment to all he engaged in, his memorable black truck—I miss you, Arne! First met him in the GC bldg as his office was in the same area as Retirement and then close to our dept here in the new NAD building. Whenever I’d see him walking towards his truck I’d teasingly say. “Arne, is your wife really going to get to see you???” And he’d just smile broader and walk faster!!!! See you soon on the “other side, Arne”. Blessings to Teen and family. Gayle Fell, Sharp Assistant

Sonia L. Barrett
Sonia L. Barrett
1 month ago

I met and interacted with Arne for one brief summer as I served on a summer committee representing the Atlantic Union. That brief encounter with this gentleman left a lasting impression on me. He was so kind and gentle and always greeted me with a warm smile that made me feel like I belonged. Truly a beautiful soul is resting in Jesus awaiting the great Getting-up morning. I pray that his family will find encouragement and comfort in the fact that he blessed others’ lives with his kindness and will be rewarded when the Life-giver returns!

Kimberly Williford
Kimberly Williford
1 month ago

Arne was such a ball of sunshine. I have only known Arne for 7 years and throughout those years I have never seen him in a bad mood, maybe a little tired but always smiling and joyful. We would see who would beat each other to work in the morning at the NAD and most of the time I would pull into the parking lot and see his truck parked way in the back of the parking lot. Arne would come in at 5:30 in the morning and beat me to work.
Arne had helped guide me in my decision to be baptized a Seventh-Day Adventist. He would tell me to make the decision mine and not let the decision come from the pressure of my environment. He also gave me advice about my car, advice about my daughter Miracles education path, relationship advice for me and my husband, and advice on finding a church home.
I remember Arne coming in excited and telling me that he and his wife had a baby. I was thinking that’s great I had a child at a later age. He pulled out his phone and showed me the picture of the little dog that they had just gotten. He was so happy and talked about his 4- legged baby every time he saw me.
You never want to question GOD but sometimes it happens, and I do. GOD, he was such a kind, funny, caring, and good person willing to help all. It is so painful to see that GOD has called such a beautiful person to end his time here with us so suddenly. I pray for peace, spiritual healing, and comfort for Arne’s family and loved ones. We love you Arne and you will definitely be missed.

Franky B. Edward
Franky B. Edward
1 month ago

I first met Arnie when he came to Pohnpei for an accreditation visit. I took him out fishing outside of Ahnd island and he caught a rainbow runner. I grilled the fish and that was our lunch on Ahnd island for that day. Since then we became close friends.The last time i met him was in Arizona for the last Educator’s Convention. Our Pohnpei group and I were very excited and happy to meet him again.

Arnie was a very humble servant of God. I will truly miss him very much. May God be with his family during this difficult time.

Shirley Jones
Shirley Jones
1 month ago

What a huge, tremendous loss to the NAD. Very shocking and unexpected. My department is on the same floor as his, and we both came into the office early, so our paths would cross sometimes. Such a caring person, would always flash that smile of his and issue warm greetings. Always busy, but never too busy to talk with you, and he would throw some humor into his conversations too. Never missed a day, unless he was traveling, and always one of the first ones (or THE first one) in the building in the morning. He was very committed to his work and mission, and an impressionable leader. He is one of those people who leaves a huge impression on those he meets. My heart is broken for our loss, and for his wife Teen, and his boys. May God’s peace and comfort, that only HE can give, be very close to them at this extremely difficult time.

Orna Garnett
Orna Garnett
1 month ago

I have enjoyed working with Arne for several years at the NAD. Together we served on several committees and interview panels. I observed firsthand how well he support his team as both a supervisor and friend. Arne practiced servant leadership and he gently and compassionately advocated for those on his team who faced challenges or crises. He will be greatly missed. May God’s presence be felt by his lovely wife, Teen and the rest of the family.

Bonita J Shields, Associate Secretary
Bonita J Shields, Associate Secretary
1 month ago

Arne was such a respectful colleague. If I needed to speak with him about a project or if I needed Education’s input on something, he would make time for me. I appreciated his calm presence, his thoughtfulness, and his smiling eyes. He was truly a Christian gentleman. He will be missed.

Monty Murdoch
Monty Murdoch
1 month ago

Arne was a friend and mentor. He made it possible for me to finish my doctorate. He joined my doctoral study group and I had the privilege to work together on some projects together.

He was always an email or phone call away and was there to give good advice or just a listening ear. He was willing to talk with students in my class about Adventist education. They were surprised that someone in his position would take the time to talk to the class.

He will be missed.

Juan Antonio Lopez de la Torre
Juan Antonio Lopez de la Torre
1 month ago

Arne was always helpful to me. First by email, then in professional encounters and in the last year as my direct supervisor. I will keep his smile, his optimism, his passion for young people and for Adventist education as his special legacy to me. I can not wait to see him again in heaven where we will be able to enjoy God’s love without the limits of this world.

Betty Bayer
Betty Bayer
1 month ago

Arne had a gift for building relationships. I’m amazed at how many people claim him as their mentor! He had a way of making you feel like you mattered . . . your work, your opinions, your presence . . . and that your contributions to Adventist education was valued and appreciated. He was a team builder, working patiently and tirelessly to include everyone and to earn the support and respect of every member. He modelled what it means to be a servant leader, leading with wisdom, grace, patience, and just the right amount of humour. He was a colleague and friend par excellence and will be deeply, deeply missed. I can only imagine the heartache of missing him as a husband, father, son, and brother. Teen, we pray for you and your family daily, and also that Jesus will come very soon and host a grand and happy reunion.

KIM MAJOR GAITER- South Atlantic Conference
KIM MAJOR GAITER- South Atlantic Conference
1 month ago

It is with Blessed Hope in Christ’s soon return that I express our deepest condolences on the loss of our leader. Arne was loved, appreciated, and will be missed by the Adventist Education community of teachers and administrators. Arne was a kind, professional, Christian leader with an exemplary spirit. I was always grateful for His assistance with the promotion for our annual week of spiritual emphasis, Finishing Strong. It was invaluable. The imprint and impact that Arne leaves will not be fully realized until we meet again and see the Master Teacher face to face. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

Last edited 1 month ago by KIM MAJOR GAITER- South Atlantic Conference
lynn burds molony
lynn burds molony
1 month ago

It is with a heart full of sorrow that I reach out to you after first hearing the news about Arne’s passing. Arne was not only a colleague, but a dear friend. Arne had an incredible spirit that uplifted everyone around him. Arne’s laughter, wisdom, and kindness were the light in many conversations, and his absence will be profoundly felt. He left an indelible mark on our lives, and his memory will continue to inspire us all on our journey. With deepest sympathy to Arne’s wife Teen, their family, and to all that have been touched by his grace.

Maricel S. Pascual
Maricel S. Pascual
1 month ago

The untimely passing of Dr. Arne Nielsen is such a devastating blow to the Adventist community and the countless lives he impacted. I will always remember his warm smile, twinkling eyes, and calm spirit. My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family and those who are grieving for his loss. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Becky Collins
Becky Collins
1 month ago

We send our heartfelt sympathy. I will always remember the support and management he gave teachers in FL conference education with a mission focus to reach learners and families with the love of God.

Rick Remmers
Rick Remmers
1 month ago

Arne Nielsen had a huge impact on Adventist education in the North American Division. He believed in it whole heartedly and supported it untiringly. Often when we had meetings he would need to join by Zoom because he maintained a heavy travel schedule visiting schools and meeting with other educators. He was wiling to address difficult issues and often did so by asking questions. He is already greatly missed but his imprint on education will continue on.

R. Thomas
R. Thomas
1 month ago

Arne embodied the words of Micah 6:8. To me, he acted justly, showed mercy at all times, and walked humbly with his God and fellow men & women. Every interaction with him – whether it was the two of us chatting, or in the middle of a crowd- he would listen closely, smile brightly, and care deeply. Arne loved God, and people mattered to him the most. I saw him last in May and I was looking forward to our meeting in December. I hoped he knew what a difference he made in my life. As a leader, he hoped and sought the best for me. Arne lived what he believed and I’m grateful that God allowed our paths to cross in this life’s journey. Until heaven, I will miss him, and I will think of his kindness and compassion always. To Teen and his family, please accept my condolences. May God be very near during this time of great loss.

Tom Evans
Tom Evans
27 days ago

I always appreciated the good work that Arne did for the NAD and his input in the office and field. He came to NAD with much talent in his area of expertise and was ready to assume the top spot when Larry retired. He has been a credit in his planning for the teacher’s convention, and guidance of education in NAD, and I especially appreciated his work with the Guan-Micronesia Mission which needed leadership and visits from the NAD office. Arne is missed and will be so for some time to come. My prayers and condolences are with his wife and extended family.

Sherina Phillips
Sherina Phillips
25 days ago

It was always great interacting with Arne through the years as AEtech crossed paths with him whether it be at the NAD building or Teachers’ Convention.

Additionally, on behalf of the Northeastern Conference, we are glad for the leadership and vision that he brought to the educational system across the NAD. He will truly be missed and we pray for comfort for his family during this time and the months to come.

Psalm 34:18, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

Sharon Aka
Sharon Aka
25 days ago

Arne had a quick laugh, an infectious smile, and a calm demeanor. He also had a wonderful sense of humor. He made everyone feel comfortable and heard. He was a great listener, collaborator, and communicator. I grew up with Arne. He was a couple of years ahead of me in school, but we attended academy and college together. I spent several years on the Andrews University Gymnics with Arne and Teen. More recently I worked with Arne at the NAD in the office of education, and completed my PhD with him. Arne was one in a million, and Teen too. Their partnership in ministry and life is enviable. I pray daily for Teen and the boys. That great gett’n up morning can’t come soon enough. Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Jeremy Hall
Jeremy Hall
25 days ago

The Michigan Conference Education Department wishes to send it’s sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the NAD for the loss of Arne. Even more so, we wish to express to Arne’s family how sad we are at the loss of a father and a husband. We can only imagine the grief and difficulty you are going through at this time. Please know that we very much appreciate the sacrifice and dedication you showed to all of us in supporting the ministry you all shared in as an educational leadership team. Arne’s support to our field was greatly appreciated. It was only a little while ago that our Conference launched ASPIRE Academy. Without Arne’s support for this initiative it wouldn’t have been possible. Our prayers are with you all.

Faith-Ann A. McGarrell
Faith-Ann A. McGarrell
25 days ago

Arne Nielsen was a member of The Journal of Adventist Education Advisory Board from April 2019 until his passing in June 2024. He was a source of inspiration, not only sharing ideas and supporting initiatives but also ready and willing to help make things happen by sharing resources. His kindness, keen sense of mission, and commitment to Adventist education and the professional development of Adventist educators were contagious. We feel the loss and will miss him. Although we mourn now, we look forward to another day when death and dying will be no more, and it will be life eternal, forever with Jesus (John 16:22). What a day that will be! — Faith-Ann A. McGarrell, Editor, The Journal of Adventist Education, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Luis Cortes
Luis Cortes
25 days ago

Arne was a true leader, friend, who guided me through my first years as principal. I’ll never forget the hours we spent helping you with statistics. You will never be forgotten and I will see you again.

Zakki Farooq
Zakki Farooq
25 days ago

This is Accountant from Chuuk SDA school Micronesia. In my whole career I didn’t see that kind of humble and cherished full accreditation officer. He taught me who to live and give respect to everyone even you are on high position. I don’t know I’ll meet anybody with this beautiful heart.

Mary Salim
Mary Salim
25 days ago

Because of him my children went to school. I have live happily he gave me job in Maxwell Adventist academy Nairobi Kenya. He was a loving and caring leader.may his soul rest in peace 🙏

Janine Oles Edmondson
Janine Oles Edmondson
24 days ago

My memories goooo way back – summer camps, gymnics but most of all – 1979 – Arne’s mother was the director of our 8 week – 10 country – Home Economic European Tour – Anita was on the tour too – we had such a great time – at one point we played “Gilligans Isle” – I believe Arne was “the Professor”. – oh the memories. I’m honored to had known him in his early years – deeply sadden for his loss. Until we meet again.

Whitney Mack
Whitney Mack
24 days ago

I’d like to thank you for sharing Arne with us all. Long before I ever met him in person, I heard stories of his kindness and warm spirit. When I finally did meet him, everything I had heard was there. Here was genuine, led with Christ, and was a joy to be around.

Elizabeth Curtis
Elizabeth Curtis
22 days ago

What a gentle and kind man, He truly showed God’s Character to others
Prayers for the family

Angeline Brauer
Angeline Brauer
22 days ago

It’s likely that my first interaction with Arne was at the “distribution table” during NAD Year End Meetings. He kept calm at all times and was ready to mobilize the crew at a moment’s notice. He was a strong and gentle leader.

I will never forget the smile that was always on Arne’s face. No matter how tired or busy he was, he also exuded calmness and joy.

Arne will be greatly missed at the NAD, but he will not be forgotten. His influence will be felt for years to come.

Lea & George
Lea & George
21 days ago

The last time we saw Arne there wasn’t a clue that he would be gone so soon, we’ll miss you Arne.

Kristianne Roberts
Kristianne Roberts
21 days ago

I am still in as much shock today as I was the day I heard of Arne’s passing. I worked on a summer curriculum committee several summers and Arne was the man in charge of all the committee’s at that time. I remember his smile most of all and his caring spirit. He was so friendly to everyone and always made time to talk to all of us. He was a rare gem and he will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to his family. May the Lord be near you always until that wonderful reunion in Heaven.

Nina Atcheson
Nina Atcheson
20 days ago

Like so many others, Arne was a dear friend and colleague. I was privileged to work with him and Larry Blackmer in the launch, development, and roll out the Encounter Bible curriculum across the NAD. Arne was the epitome of servant leadership and showed me how to lead gently but with a clear vision. Working with Arne truly helped shape my life and I praise God for those years we served together. Teen, you’re still in my prayers.

Shad Lehmann
Shad Lehmann
19 days ago

Arne will be missed, he was not just a great mentor and leader but a true friend. I know that we all await Christ second coming so that we can all be together again, but that still doesn’t stop the hurting. Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Bob Burrow
Bob Burrow
14 days ago

I remember Arne as a friendly professional person who I encountered professionally over the years as he moved to his service assignments in the denomination. Over time, we became friends. He was always kind and gracious even as he and I worked on some difficult issues. I will miss him and regret not spending more time with him during our service here at NAD. When we lose friends, we look forward to that glorious day when God will topple the separation that hurts so much.

Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson
13 days ago

Arne was a close friend and colleague! I was blessed to have his kids at Mount Pisgah Academy during my tenure there and honored to follow in his footsteps as Principal at that incredible school! I loved talking to Arne as well as play golf when time allowed. I can’t remember ever seeing Arne when he didn’t have a smile on his face :). He will always be close to my heart, and my thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to all of his family and loved ones. Arne, you are greatly missed! Even so come, Lord Jesus!

Thelma Mundy
Thelma Mundy
12 days ago

I met Dr. Nielson during my three years as a teacher at the Florida Conference. He was reassuring, encouraging, and smart. I never felt intimidated around him. I will miss him but plan to meet him ‘on that great gettin’-up morning.’ Praying for the family. #surprisedbyhispassing.