Edwin Thomas Arnold, Sr. (Ed) passed peacefully, in the arms of his son, Tom Arnold, on Sunday, March 13, 2016, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, into the waiting arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At age 102, he had continuously performed his activities of daily living, without assistance, up to his final day here on earth.
Ed was born on February 7, 1914, in Savannah, Georgia, to Walter Van Valkenburg Arnold and Laura Corinna Sheftall. He was raised in Norfolk, Virginia. Graduating from Virginia Military Institute in 1935 with a Bachelor of Science degree, he was described in his college yearbook as "having a pleasing personality, a broad sincere smile and a happy greeting for everybody. As a brother cadet and roommate none can excel him in consideration, morals, and courtesy." He was a member of the VMI Calvary, and returned as a professor prior to WWII.
Ed was a veteran of "F" Troop, 103rd Cavalry (Fort Myer, Virginia). He served during WWII from August 1, 1940 to March 9, 1946, in the 106th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Army Major. Assignments during the War included Mechanized Cavalry Unit Commander and Intelligence Officer in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Central Europe. He was awarded the Bronze Star, EAME with 3 Battle Stars, American Defense Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, and the American Campaign Medal.
While stationed at Fort Knox in Kentucky, he met Madge Wise at an ice cream parlor in Nashville, Tennessee, during leave. They were married four months later at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville on February 13, 1943. They relocated to Lufkin, Texas in 1946 and raised three sons, Walter, Tom, and Bruce. Ed's career spanned insurance & investments, banking, and real estate. The family lived in Louisiana for four years, returning to Texas and settling in Houston. In a VMI reunion pamphlet in 1985, Ed wrote "Madge and I are very thankful for our health, happiness and each other. We enjoy daily walks and live a quiet life." They remained married for 61 years, until Madge went to Heaven on June 28, 2004.
Ed's strong faith in Jesus Christ was the foundation of his character and integrity. For all of his life, he was an active in Church. He met Pastor Gerald Hilley while walking in a mall in Houston, and remained a close friend and member of Pastor Hilley's church for many years.
Ed was Madge's primary care-giver for the last ten years of her precious life on earth. His constant love and companionship for Madge was an inspiration to everyone who saw them together. After she passed away, he remained in Houston, living alone, but active in the Church, Bible Study Fellowship, mall-walking, and many loving neighbors at Bayfront Towers condos. Missy and Leroy McGallian were special and compassionate friends to him.
Five years ago, Ed moved to Albuquerque to live with his son Tom. Together they attended Legacy Church. Ed was a true inspiration and well-liked by members of the church.
Ed is survived by son Walter V. Arnold and daughter-in-law Kathy Arnold in Lexington, South Carolina, son Tom Arnold in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and son Bruce Arnold and daughter-in-law Katherine Arnold in Austin, Texas; eight grandchildren: Jeff, Scott (and wife Christiana), Christopher, Nicholas, Ashley, Blake, Aaron, and Austin; two great grandchildren Everett and Alice; nephew Roger and niece Elizabeth on the Arnold side, and many nieces and nephews on the Wise side of the family. He was preceded in death by both parents Walter and Laura Arnold and his brother Walter Van Valkenburg Arnold.
A memorial service will be held at Praise Chapel at 18516 Highway 3, Webster, TX on Saturday May 7 at 10:30 am, followed by a graveside service.
Photos and stories can be posted and shared at www.frenchfunerals.com . In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Legacy Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico http://www.legacychurchnm.com/give in memory of Edwin Thomas Arnold, Sr.