|Birth: ||Apr. 6, 1925|
|Death: ||Mar. 22, 1972|
parents: Robert Franklin Arnold, Rhoda Jane Woody
Published Assembly Mar '91
Robert Earl Arnold No.15718 Class of 1946 Died 22 March 1972 in Waco, Texas, aged 46 years. Interment: Gainesville, Texas
Mention Bob Arnold and one immediately thinks of a gregarious Texan who enjoyed his days as a cadet. His manner, walk, and language were deep in the heart of that well-known state. With confidence and an engaging personality, Bob approached the rigors of Beast Barracks in 1943 with a tremendous amount of pride in being accepted as a part of the Long Gray Line.
Born in Olney Texas, 6 April 1925, son of Robert F. and Rhoda Arnold, Bob was recalled by his brother as a leader in his early years, displaying a keen mind and many physical attributes. Bob lettered in major sports in high school and was an undefeated boxer; subsequently, he was the intramural champion at the University of Texas. Bob was an all-around achiever, active in school affairs, a public speaker, and excelled academically, graduating as salutatorian. His nickname of "Webster" was most apropos. Those who met him as a cadet can verify that Bob had a marvelous command of English, with an unequaled vocabulary and a retentive mind.
Following two years of engineering school in Austin, it wasn't long until all of Central Area learned there was a plebe from "Nacona, Texas, the boot capital of the world, Sir." This was his usual reply to the upperclassmen's query.
Bob, like some others in B-I Company, had an undistinguished cadet career. He survived the system probably easier than most because of his ability to enjoy people. One way this was done was through the creation of a hillbilly band, a.k.a. country music today. Along with Gruenther, Fuller, Hoefling, Koch, and an assortment of those who could not make the Cadet Choir, they would entertain anyone who would listen at Delafield picnics, Saturday in South Area and Quarters 101. Yes, the "Com" and his wife endured this group.
At the Academy, Bob never took academics seriously. He had a large reservoir of intelligence that was only partially utilized. His athletic skills, however, earned him numerals by participating for three years in boxing and track. Bob's affability and effervescence gained him a multitude of friends. Helping others to raise their spirits was natural for him. Colorful, fun to be with, whether at reveille in ranks or on weekends in New York, he had a zest for life. During first class year Bob met lovely, attractive Betty Kaiser who was attending a New York college. Being from Dallas was a plus, so it was no surprise to see him dating Betty every weekend and teaching her his favorite tunes.
Commissioned in the Infantry, Bob reported to Ft. Benning, Georgia after marrying Betty on 19 July. Their first home in the Columbus suburbs was a popular spot for classmates. Many single types riding motorcycles and toting guitars would appear on their doorstep seeking a respite from bachelor life.
Salzburg, Austria was next. Joining an occupation unit in that scenic area, he performed the normal company officer duties with distinction. In the post-World War II period there was time for class reunions in Germany's Alps and coaching a football team to the European Command championship in 1949.
Law school at the University of Virginia followed, where his true academic ability surfaced as he graduated with honors, ninth in his class. By now there were two beautiful daughters who learned it was difficult to sleep when friends were gathering in the Arnold's small student apartment
Joining the Judge Advocate General Corps in 1953, Bob quickly became a superb military lawyer in his assignments in Louisiana, Korea, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and California. He distinguished himself in the post-Korean War era in his capacity as a traveling law officer throughout the country as well as in the I Corps area. Dick Gruenther aptly stated, "If I were in trouble with the law, I would want Bob as my attorney."
Shortly after an assignment on the West Coast in 1963, Bob received a discharge due to a physical disability, and returned to Texas to teach and to practice law. In 1972 he suffered a fatal heart attack, and was buried in Gainesville, Texas. The Army, West Point, his legion of friends, and his beloved family lost a wonderful person. Subsequently, Betty settled in Missouri where she could rear the children in a fashion Bob would he immensely proud of today. Genes work in strange ways--daughter Helen majored in English and now teaches; Sara, despite not getting much sleep at age five, was graduated from the University of North Carolina and now is a physician in Seattle; Robert, Jr., educated in Canada and Alabama, is a financial officer, and Nicky, a University of Chicago grad is a computer programmer. All their memories are warmed with the conviction that Bob Arnold loved and enjoyed his children.
Outgoing, personable, as the ultimate extrovert, Bob had an extraordinary intellect and a strong sense of achievement in facing life's challenges when it was no longer tun and games. We who were fortunate to know him miss this dynamic, talented and warm-hearted individual.
Frank Blazey, Dick Fuller, Dave Bryant, Dick Gruenther and Family
Robert Franklin Arnold (1902 - 1952)
Rhoda Jane Woody Arnold (1905 - 1991)
Plot: Division M
Created by: J Vogel
Record added: Jan 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64687174