James C. Arneberg, 59, an All-State guard and co-captain on the 1942 Leo High School city championship football team, spent more than 30 years as a coach, teacher and athletic director for schools in the Chicago area.
Mass for Mr. Arneberg, a resident of Palos Hills, will be said at 11 a.m. Friday in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 8245 W. 111th St., Palos Hills. He died at home Monday [April 22, 1985].
Describing Mr. Arneberg as “a real class guy,” sportswriter Ed Stone told what happened after the 1956 Leo-Calumet game for the city football championship: “A stocky young man with the rugged features of a prizefighter walked into Calumet`s gloom-filled dressing room.
“The (Calumet) Indians had just been beaten by Leo, and some of them were even in tears. But the visitor soon revived their spirits by just saying a few words. Then he left. He was Jim Arneberg, Leo coach, who was on his way to a victory celebration across the field. He had nothing but praise for Calumet, even though the City League champions were completely dominated by his Catholic League powerhouse.”
Mr. Arneberg`s career began at Leo, where he played halfback, center and guard on the 1940, 1941 and 1942 Catholic League champions. He was an All-City guard in 1941 and 1942, and All-State in 1942.
Immediately after graduation, he joined the Marines. He saw action in Pacific. On Guam, he saved the life of a friend, Izzy Cagan, who had been hit by a flame thrower, by smothering the flames with his own body and then carrying the man to an aid station.
“When I told him I was going to put him up for a medal, he really hollered at me,” Cagan said later.
Mr. Arneberg was wounded on Okinawa and received the Purple Heart.
Mr. Arneberg attended Georgetown University, where at 5-8 and 160 pounds he played guard. He transferred to Loras College, where he continued playing. He later received a master`s degree from De Paul University and a doctorate in 1980 from the University of Sarasota.
In 1951, he was made head basketball coach and in 1955, head football coach at Leo. He left the school with a 51-28 record in football, including Catholic League and All-Chicago championships in 1956.
In 1962, Mr. Arneberg was named football coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and in 1965 he became head coach at St. Joseph College, Rensselaer, Ind. In 1967, he became athletic director and basketball coach at Loyola Academy, Wilmette, and in 1971, he joined St. Xavier College to initiate its first male athletic program.
Mr. Arneberg then joined the staff of Stagg High School as a dean and taught at Moraine Valley College in Palos Hills.
He started the Leo`s Boys Club, a day camp, and ran it for 11 years. He was also founder and owner of the Chicago National Football Clinic, later known as the Medalist Football Clinic.
In 1979, he was inducted into the College Hall of Fame.
Survivors include his wife, Marikay; three daughters, Mary Catherine Reynolds, Mary Carol Arneberg and Mary Carmel Arneberg; a son, James; five grandchildren; and two brothers, John and Robert.