Together again after three and a half decades, Tillie and Lloyd Arnold were reunited Thursday, July 21, when their remains were interred at the Ketchum Cemetery, immediately diagonal to the graves of their dear friends Mary and Ernest Hemingway.
The day was chosen because it was Hemingway's 106th birthday. Tillie Arnold died in January of this year. Her beloved husband, Lloyd, who was known as "Pappy," died in 1970 and had been buried in his hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The burial of the Arnolds helps complete the circle of friends Hemingway made during his many years in Idaho. Near his grave are the graves of his fourth wife, Mary, as well as other members of his family, including his son Jack.
His friend Chuck Atkinson is also within the circle that surrounds Hemingway's tree-shaded burial site.
Inside the program for the "Send-Off," Hemingway was quoted from the eulogy he delivered for friend Gene Van Guilder's Ketchum funeral in 1939.
"Pappy and Tillie ... 'will be here in the winter and in the spring and in the summer and in the fall. In all the seasons there will ever be.'"
David Nuffer, a Hemingway fan and author of "A Walkable Feast," about Hemingway's days in Paris, helped Tillie Arnold's sister, Donna Kimbell, with the memorial service. He and Tillie had become friends in 1989 and remained so until her death. During Kimbell's story-filled eulogy for her older sister and brother-in-law, Nuffer kept tabs on how long she was talking, much to her amusement.
Bill Smallwood, a Ketchum resident and co-author of Tillie's book, "Hemingway in Idaho," said, "Hemingway's friends meant everything to him. He was a little insecure, and writing is a lonely job. You need to be with people who stimulate you. He needed intelligent people and he cherished those days with his friends."
It was because of this that Hemingway sought to be buried in Sun Valley and not one of his other many homes, Smallwood said.
"He was surrounded by flunkies, but these friends weren't that," he continued. "Nothing could be further from the truth. They were honest and had guts. They'd tell him off. He admired people who had guts and intelligence."
According to what Tillie told Smallwood, Hemingway confessed to her just before his suicide in 1961 what he intended to do. He had told her having an incurable disease was one of the only reasons a person could take his own life. He believed his mental illness was incurable.
Smallwood, who was willed all of Lloyd Arnold's Sun Valley photos from his days as the official photographer for the resort, said he would like to see a writing and photography competition done each year in Hemingway and Arnold's name.
Kimbell charmed the gathering with her laughter and spirit.
"When I talk about Lloyd, I cry," she said, reaching for a handkerchief. "You missed something if you didn't know Lloyd Arnold. They were really a team. Both had great senses of humor."
She said Tillie told her lots of stories about her days in Sun Valley, but that they weren't appropriate to repeat. She then read a lovely letter sent for the occasion from Maria Cooper Janis, Gary Cooper's daughter. Cooper and his family spent time in Sun Valley with the Arnolds and Hemingways. The letter noted, in part, that all the old friends were now together in the "arms of the Sawtooths."
After the eulogies, Glen Arnold, Lloyd's nephew, placed his uncle's urn in a small cream-colored vault. Virgil Kimbell, Donna's husband, did the same for Tillie's urn.
Donna, her niece, other family members and friends then placed single-stemmed red roses on top of the two urns, before retiring to the Sun Room in Sun Valley for a reception.