Monday, August 31, 2009

Willard James Arnold 1924-2009

November 28th, 1924 - August 5th, 2009

Willard James Arnold was born November 28, 1924 in Richland, Missouri. He was one of three children born to the union of the late James Floyd and Mamie Ethel (Manuel) Arnold. Willard went home to be with his Lord the morning of August 5, 2009 at his home near Richland, Missouri, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 84 years, 8 months and 8 days. Willard attended the Elm Grove one-room schoolhouse, and graduated from Stoutland High School in 1941. He attended two years of college in Springfield, Missouri. With the start of WWII, Willard desperately wanted to serve his country, so he lied about his age to join the Army. He was a paratrooper in the invasion of Normandy beach and the Battle of the Bulge. For his honorable and faithful service, PFC Arnold was awarded the Victory Ribbon, American Theatre Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with one bronze star, Good Conduct Medal, Four Overseas Service Bars and the Distinguished Unit Badge. While at a USO dance in Franklin, Georgia, Willard met Euckle Edith Cook. They were married on February 15, 1945. Willard and Euckle were blessed with two children, Mary Yvonne, and James David. Euckle preceded Willard in death on December 18, 1990. Though Willard and his family lived in several areas of the country over the years, Richland was always his home. Over the years he owned and operated successful businesses in insurance and real estate. Willard was the owner/broker of Tri-County Realty in Richland and later moved the office to Lebanon, and continued to be an active member of the Richland and Lebanon communities for many years. He was a long time member of the First Assembly of God Church in Richland and the American Legion Post 240. Willard had a life long love of music. He began singing at age 16 as part of the Ozark Jubilee on KWTO Radio in Springfield. At some point in his career, he sang with Red Foley, Slim Wilson, Porter Waggoner and Jr. Hayworth. He was a pallbearer for his friend, Slim Wilson. In the early 50's, he was on the radio in Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto, California, with Fred Lamb and the Maddox Brothers. Along with many other musicians, Willard entertained many with his mandolin and sweet voice as often as he could. While he had several successful careers, it was always music that taught his soul to sing, even into his final days. Willard was dearly loved, and will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 18 years, Lora Arnold of Richland; two children: Mary Yvonne Reed (Doyle) of Ada, Oklahoma and James David Arnold (Kris) of Sumner, Washington; Lora's children: David Cain (Shirley) of Branson, Lori Fincher (Larry) of Richland, Julie Claiborn (Mike) of Montreal and Phoebe Long (Mike) of Camdenton; many grand and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents and his first wife, Willard was also preceded in death by a daughter, Vicki Pasley, brother, Wilbur Arnold and sister, Era Craig and his granddaughter, Kenya Reed. Funeral services were held at 10:30 A.M., Saturday, August 8, 2009 in the Memorial Chapels and Crematory of Richland with Pastor Nathan Sheridan officiating. Speakers Bob Payne and GEN (Ret) Mark Juneau recalled special memories of Willard. The gospel group Gospel Express played and sang "Amazing Grace", "He Hideth My Soul" and "Peace in the Valley". Other recorded music selections played were "Daddy's Home" and "Go Rest High on That Mountain". Serving as escorts were Kevin Reed, Bryan Reed, Jonathan Cain, Derek Cupps, Matthew Arnold, Cory Arnold, Logan Reed, Aaron Fincher, Kyler Reed, Rylan Reed, Robert Reed, Christopher Leazer, Mason Arnold, Cayden Arnold and Andrew Darr. United States Army of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and American Legion Post 240 of Richland provided military honors. Burial followed in the Mt. View Cemetery near Richland, Missouri. Services were under the direction of Memorial Chapels and Crematory of Richland. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Willard James Arnold to the Mt. View Cemetery Fund and may be left at the funeral home.

No comments:

Post a Comment