Command Chief Warrant Officer Five Arthur E. Schlender (MOARNG, ret.), age 69, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away peacefully Sunday, March 8, 2020 at the Bluffs in Columbia, Mo.
Art was born on December 18, 1950 in Hildesheim, Germany, the son of Ernst and Marta (Kropp) Schlender. He was married on September 6, 1980 in Jefferson City, Mo. to Doris Brunner, who survives.
Growing up in Germany until the age of two, Art’s family moved to central Missouri to live in Cole Camp, Mo. for a few years. His family became members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cole Camp. They later moved to Sedalia, Mo. where Art was a 1968 graduate of Green Ridge High School. Shortly after graduation, he worked briefly as a sheet metal worker until he enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard. It was here he would start and end his 41-year career – devoted to the United States.
Art was quickly selected as the top trainee and promoted to Private First Class at Fort Benning, Ga. in November 1969. He completed basic training and then moved on to helicopter maintenance school. After that schooling, he came back to the Missouri Army National Guard in Sedalia where he served as the aviation maintenance section leader being promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He moved to Jefferson City in 1971 as a helicopter maintenance technician where he would eventually help start a program to convert all Army Fixed Wing aviators to Rotary Wing aviators. During that process, Art had the opportunity to become an Army aviator and he looked forward to the challenges as he completed all the qualification courses to become a helicopter pilot. He later became a helicopter instructor, instrument examiner, a Fixed Wing instructor and examiner, and a member of the Quiet Birdman Pilot Group. During that time, he was qualified to fly four different airframes: OH-58, UH-1 (Huey), UH-60 (Blackhawk) and C-12. He spent time flying in Central America during the drug war periods. He became the commander of Detachment 40, OSACOM (Fixed Wing Unit) in 2001 with the Missouri Army National Guard. He proudly served at this capacity until his retirement in August 2010 as a Command Chief Warrant Officer Five.
Art proudly served on active duty with the United States Army in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and served overseas in Kuwait. He flew missions in numerous countries in the Middle East including Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He noted that, “if he could do it over again, he would not change a single thing.” He credited his successes to the support and patience of his loving wife, Doris.
Always active in the community, Art was a member of the B.P.O. of the Elks, Lodge #513 and the Lion’s Club of Jefferson City. He loved animals so he volunteered at the Jefferson City Animal Shelter where he helped clean, groom and play with the animals.
Art’s fondest memories are all with his children and grandchildren. He enthusiastically helped support his kids and grandchildren in all their activities. When they needed help or guidance, they always could count on Art’s advice, patience and support. He spent time traveling with his wife to Florida and looked forward to trips back to his birthplace in Germany. Art was extremely active and loved being outdoors: working in his yard, fishing and spending time at their home at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Survivors include: his loving wife of 39 years, Doris Schlender; three children, Dustin Schlender (Ashley), Michelle Cummings, and Kelly Schenewerk (Stephanie), all of Jefferson City, Mo.; four siblings, Abe Kropp (Sherry), David Schlender (JoAnn), Robert Schlender (Jennifer), and Ellen Young (Danny), all of Sedalia, Mo.; one brother-in-law, Bill Brunner (Joan) of New Franklin, Mo.; seven grandchildren, Clinton Bond (Emma), Zachary Bond, Chloe Schenewerk, Ryann Schenewerk, Bode Schenewerk, Hadley Schlender and Hank Schlender; one great-grandson, Remy Bond; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Art was preceded in death by his parents, Ernst and Marta Schlender; and a brother, Ron Kropp and his wife Jean.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020 at Faith Lutheran Church with the Reverend Eric Gledhill officiating. Graveside services and interment with military honors including a helicopter memorial fly over will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Mo.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Jefferson City Animal Shelter at 2308 Hyde Park Road, Jefferson City, Mo. 65109 or the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Midwest at 2609 E. Broadway #119, Columbia, Mo. 65201.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.