It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Erica Dawn Arnold at the age of 32. Born on March 4, 1990, to Melissa Jones and Terry Arnold and was the first granddaughter to both families. As a blue eyed little blonde girl, she loved to dance, sing, and dress up. She graduated from Eads High School in May of 2008. She then went on to attend Lamar Community College for general classes and later transferred to Northeastern Junior College to study early childhood education. There she worked at Small World Christian Childcare Center. She became a mother to Zoie Marie on March 15, 2007, Gaige Michael on November 11, 2008, McKinzie Annette on July 28, 2013, and Paitin Rayann on September 5, 2014. They brought great joy to her life. She loved to bake, go on park adventures, and play dress up with the kids. Erica and the kids loved to go star gazing and take tons of pictures with each other. She was also always crafting and doing art projects with them.
Erica passed away unexpectedly on July 17, 2022 in Baca County, Colorado. She will be lovingly remembered by her children Zoie, Gaige, McKinzie, and Paitin; her parents Trent and Melissa Jones and Terry and Tonya Arnold; sisters Brooklynn Jones and Saraya (Adam) Peters, Brothers Colton (Joanna) Arnold and Dalton Arnold; grandparents Rex and Sharon Barlow, Jerry and Rose Marie Jones, Mike and Sandy Brown, and John and Shana Mayhew. Aunts Audrey Hofferber, Hallie Barlow (Billy Koehler), Ranee Harland (Danny Neptune), Amanda Morgans, Vickie (Mike) Harkness, Kammie (Claude) Cathcart, Tara Neughbauer, and Dannette (Douglas) Tedford. Uncles Brent (Aida) Jones, Shawn Bolin, Dave (Elisa) Arnold, and Brandon Arnold. Numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She is proceeded in death by grandparents Terry and Pam Arnold, Karla Bayejos, great grandparents Frank and Marge Barlow, Hugh and Elsie Rushton, Earl Anderson, Elsie Venturi, Henry and Bertha Beaman, Ray and Lavinia Arnold, Jack and Ida Mayhew, and Floyd and Doris Downing.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to a college fund established for the kids at GN Bank; Box 847; Eads, CO 81036.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at the Kiowa County Fairgrounds with Pastors Lane & Debbie Gooden officiating. Friends and family can register online condolences and sign the guestbook at www.brownfuneraldirectors.com. Visitation and funeral services were entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home.
Dear friends and family,
We want to share our story with each of you in hopes that it will help or bring comfort to someone here today. Each one of you may or may not know the struggles we went through as the parents and family of Erica, which started many years ago.
We were always hopeful and had dreams of there being a chance that things would be different. For us, that hope and dream ended on Sunday when we received the phone call of Erica’s accident. We, as parents and her family, knew of the potential that Erica had for this life, Erica was a smart girl who could have accomplished so much, but unfortunately, she just couldn’t let her demons go.
It starts with that one choice that at the time, seems like a good time but in the end, that choice takes ahold of you and leads to a life of hell, not just for you but all those around you who love you deeply.
We, as parents, have such big hopes and desires for our children because we know of the potential that each of them possesses. Those hopes and that potential is stolen away from not only you but also from your family once the demons take control. Erica’s sister and children are forever left longing for that bond which has been portrayed throughout the “Damn It Girls’” families lives and now those things are gone forever.
There were many times, we went to Erica, gathered her up and brought her back to seek the help she needed, but the day came we realized we could no longer do that. It was Erica that needed make that choice for help. Our greatest struggle was realizing we could no longer fix her, but she needed to have the desire and willingness to get better herself.
Each day Erica was prayed for deeply that she would be ready to seek the help she needed for her, to show up on someone’s doorstep or even for that phone call that she was ready. The worry each one of us had for Erica, is where she was and the horrendous things, she was going through. No one can even begin to understand the stories and sites each of us experienced which can never be unseen, forgotten, or unfelt.
You always hold out hope that things will change, and a different path will be taken. Then you receive the call that your loved one has passed on and now you must let go of all those hopes and dreams. It is extremely hard to let that hope go as it is now final and can never change. For Erica now she can rest in peace as those demons are no longer chasing her and in time will no longer be chasing her family as well.
Our prayers for today are that our story will help others learn to stop and think of your choices before making them. It only takes one wrong decision to lead you down the wrong path, one that is not chosen by God but in the end not only hurts you but many of those around you.
If you have chosen this path already, it is never too late to seek the help you need. Your loved ones will be there to love and support you. If you are the parent or the family member going through similar experiences, please know that you can not have those regrets that this one time would have been the time you can change them.
They must make those hard decisions themselves. They will tell you everything you want to hear but you must know when they are truly meant. When the anger sets in for you as a parent, family member or friend because the person you deeply love won’t seek the help they need to better themselves remember that it is the devil within and not who they truly are. Be angry at the source and not those loved ones.
Erica you are so deeply loved and always will be.
The family of Erica Arnold