Arnold N. Cajet
February 28, 1934 – June 22, 2020
Arnie Cajet died peacefully June 22, 2020 surrounded by his wife of 62 years, Mary Ann, his daughter Kim(Rick) Dsida and son Ken. After a stellar diving career at Loyola Academy and the University of Illinois, he coached for over 50 years, starting at Niles West High School, moving to New Trier High School and finishing at Loyola Academy. He was the first diving coach ever to be named to The International Swimming Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Illinois Swimming Association Diving Hall of Fame, the Illinois Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Loyola Academy Hall of Fame. He coached nine Illinois State Champions, one National Champion, 27 National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) All Americans and seven honorable mentions All Americans. He was the NISCA Diving chairman for 16 years. After retiring he had more time to devote to his four grandsons Rick (Shannon), Brad(Ashley), Jeff (Megan) and Matt Dsida. He loved to attend their sporting events, cheering loudly and enthusiastically. Aside from diving and family, his other love was fishing. He would fish anywhere, Lake Michigan, Lake Delavan, the Gulf of Mexico or even the ponds at Walt Disney World. One never knew if he had a good day or was skunked because he could fish all day. Recently, his joy came from his first great grandchild, Charlie (Rick & Shannon) and the knowledge of another great grandchild coming in August (Jeff & Megan). He was a wonderful Husband, Father, Poppy & Great Poppy. He will be missed. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, private services will be held.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Arnold N. Cajet
June 25, 2020
Dear Mary Ann, Kim, and Ken,
My deepest condolences.
A few weeks ago, I was thinking about Arnie. This happens often. Reminiscing about his infectious laugh, his larger than life personality and the tremendous influence he had on my life. Of all the time he gave and the sacrifices he made for me and all his divers. We will always be, “Arnie’s Army.”
What separated Arnie from other coaches, was his love of the sport, his gift for teaching diving and coaching competitive divers. His ability to instill confidence during the growing years while helping you to become a better person.
Fondly remember Arnie’s coach to diver shout outs as he patrolled the diving deck of the pool. Insert name of any diver Arnie ever coached here: Hey _______“Don’t be short. Really? you looked like spaghetti in a windstorm, c’mon kid, you need to be tough as nails.”
I am lucky, blessed, and grateful to have had Arnie Cajet in my life. He taught me how to fly.
Rest In Peace, Coach
Keith Harrison Kenner, NTE ‘73
Megan Murphy Sparks
June 25, 2020
Dear Mary Ann and family.
I’ve been thinking of Arnie for several weeks, reminiscing about all our hours together at the pool and how much he influenced me and my life. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Be it New Trier West, New Trier East, or Centennial Park - we logged thousands of hours together during the 1970s and 1980s. Like most of his divers, I met him in the summer at Centennial pool as a young gymnast. Arnie loved coaching anyone and everyone, but I think the special glimmer in his eye when he successfully taught a newbie a basic dive was probably the time I saw him the happiest as a coach. I have so many incredible memories of him as a coach, but overall, it was his boundless enthusiasm — insert image of him bouncing down the pool deck while cheering us on, giving redirection, or encouraging us to take a chance on something. He was larger than life and his love of the sport was infectious!
I can only imagine how much love he had in his heart for his grandchildren and great grands - what lucky fellas to have larger than life Arnie as their poppy! Those are memories to cherish.
Arnie had a powerful and permanent impact on me. I’ll never forget him and his dedication to helping me grow as an athlete and human being. I’m deeply grateful to have had the privilege to know and learn from him.
Rest In Peace, coach.