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1922 - 2013

Thomas Lee Arnold, former attorney in Benton, MO, passed away at the age of 91 in Green Valley, AZ, on Friday, April 19. He and his wife, Joyce, had moved there from Benton in the fall of 1999. He was born April 10, 1922 in Benton to James Marshall and Mary Jeanette Arnold.

Mr. Arnold was a veteran of World War II, having served as a medic in France following the Normandy invasion in 1944. He was with the 44th Infantry Division, the unit that escorted famed German rocket scientist, Dr. Wernher von Braun, to Allied custody. Mr. Arnold received military training in Oklahoma and Iowa prior to being deployed to the front lines in France. As part of his training, he was taught medical skills and became fluent in French. He earned a Bronze Star during his military service.

He was a 1943 graduate of Southeast Missouri State Teachers College (now Southeast Missouri State University) at Cape Girardeau. After the war, Mr. Arnold attended law school at the University of Missouri""Columbia, where he earned his J.D. degree in 1948 on the GI Bill. Following graduation, he joined the law firm of Stephen Barton in Benton, county seat of Scott County. When Mr. Barton retired, he took over the practice and enjoyed a long and successful career. Mr. Arnold retired from his law practice in 1994. He was a member and strong supporter of the United Methodist Church in Benton.

Throughout his career, he was heavily involved in the Democratic Party. He was in charge of organizing support in southeast Missouri for the election of President John F. Kennedy in 1960. He was also involved in local and state Democratic causes. Mr. Arnold served for years as a board member of the Scott County R-IV Reorganized School District. He was avidly involved in the Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in 2008 in "recognition for your life time achievement to the Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society."

Upon retirement to Green Valley, AZ, he and his wife, Joyce, enjoyed golfing and socializing with their large circle of newly made friends. They also travelled extensively to Egypt, Europe, Hawaii, Canada and Australia, in addition to their domestic travels.In Green Valley, he volunteered with the "Friends In Deed" organization. He enjoyed viewing the Santa Rita Mountains from his patio at sunset.

Mr. Arnold was loyal to his family, friends and his moral convictions. There was never any doubt where he stood on controversial issues, and he enjoyed explaining his positions on national and international matters. His intellect stayed with him to his last days.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; sons Tom, Jr., M.D. (Debora) of Quinton, AL, and Jim (Cathy) of Germantown, TN; stepdaughters Kim (Jim) of Sterling, VA, and Jennifer of North Dallas, TX. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty (Ramey) Arnold, and two brothers "" Marshall and Jack. Mr. Arnold had nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. To his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he was known as "Pop Pop."

His presence will be missed by all who knew him. Mr. Arnold was kind, generous, highly intelligent and strongly committed to family and friends. His influence and insights will live on in the people who knew him well.

A memorial service will be held in Green Valley at the Valley Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 11, at 1 p.m., with a reception afterward at the Arnold residence. A separate memorial will be held in Benton, MO, over Labor Day weekend, with details to follow later this summer.

Mr. Arnold supported the Salvation Army and often noted that "they helped people while other organizations talked about helping people." In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Salvation Army.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Apr. 28, 2013
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