Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va., was among the 12 people who died in a shooting rampage Monday at the Washington Navy Yard. His hometown was Rochester, Michigan.
He had graduated from Rochester High School more than 40 years go.
Michael was a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at his home, said his uncle, Steve Hunter.
Michael and his wife, Jolanda, had been married for more than 30 years, Hunter said. They had two grown sons, Eric and Christopher.
"He was such a good father," said Michael's mother Patricia Arnold. "He loved to be with his boys… and it's going to be hard."
Michael returned to Michigan for Labor Day to visit his 80-year-old mother.
According to Patricia, they had vacationed up north with the rest of his family still living in Michigan.
Patricia told 7 Action News today that it is hard to make sense of this tragedy or begin to understand how someone could open fire on so many people including her son.
"There's no since to be made of it," said Patricia. "No sense to be made at all… just killed my boy that's all he did, you know. Plus, he killed a bunch of other people's boys and girls you know. For no reason… no reason at all."
Patricia says Mike just turned 59 last week.
"He was proud to be in the Navy, he loved it," said Patricia. "He loved his family."