"We just talked as old friends," she said. Minson said Proctor was always ready to pitch in and help. He helped put together a toy for her day care clients, and when there was a storm he started up her generator and taught her how to work it properly.

Another neighbor, Teresita Russell, got a phone call from a reporter on Monday evening. She came over and told Minson the news.

"I was just floored," Minson said. "I couldn't understand why would someone do something like that to a nice person like him."

Bodrog, a 1981 graduate of the Naval Academy, served 22 years in the fleet as a surface warfare officer.

His role at the Navy Yard included "overseeing the design and procurement of ships," according to an obituary provided by his family.

"His expertise and experience in amphibious operations allowed Marty to make lasting contributions to the success of the Navy-Marine Corps Team," his family said.

A native of Woodbury, N.J., he was nonetheless an avid fan of the Boston Bruins, the family statement said. He would walk his dog in shorts and a Bruins jersey, even in winter.

The yearbook entry for his senior year at New Jersey Audubon High School said he was a football and wrestling standout who "had a crack for all occasions."

Married with three daughters, he was a regular attendee of Immanuel Bible Church, where he taught Sunday school.

"Marty was source of great inspiration to his family and friends — those of us that we lucky enough to know Marty are better people for it," his family said.

Arnold's work designing Navy vessels reflected a childhood passion, his mother said.

Patricia Arnold recalled buying her son model ship after model ship.

"Every birthday, every Christmas, every chance we got, we were always buying these models, and that's what he did in his job," she said. "He was on a team designing these ships. … He loved to do those."

Arnold said her son was determined to join the Navy after high school, and chose to attend the University of Oklahoma for its ROTC program.

He was stationed in Hawaii before he left the service and moved to Northern Virginia, where he lived for about 30 years. He was married with two sons.

Patricia Arnold described him as a father who spent hours reading to his sons, playing catch with them in the back yard, taking them to T-ball games and bowling leagues.

"I want people to know what a good man he was and how stupid and senseless this all is," Patricia Arnold said. "He was a good man, a wonderful husband, a wonderful, wonderful father to his two boys and a wonderful son to me."

Michael Arnold, who turned 59 last week, had been spending much of his free time with his sons building a two-seat airplane in his basement that he planned to fly from Virginia to the family cabin in Michigan next year.

"His goal was to fly before he was 60," Patricia Arnold said. "He was just everything that a mother would want in a son, and I guess that pretty much says it all."

Brian Bennett, Ken Dilanian, Richard Simon and Joe Tanfani of the Tribune Washington Bureau contributed to this article.