John Thomas Arnold, age 78, of Powell, passed away on Monday, March 28, 2016. John was surrounded by family as he left this Earth. He was born on January 26, 1938 in Fort Worth, Texas.
John was a hard worker who succeeded at almost every challenge he faced. As a young man, he joined the United States Navy and served as a Hospital Corpsman from 1955 -1958, including a tour on the destroyer, the U.S.S. Brown. Upon his honorable discharge from the service, John knew he wanted to go to college. As he grew up in Auburn, Alabama, it was an obvious choice that he attend Auburn University. Not only was Auburn University a great school for studying psychology, it was also the University where John’s father, Dr. Fred Arnold, had been a professor and chairman of the Department of Economics.
John left college to become a carpenter in California. The skills he learned during these years would become an essential part of his nature, as he was always building, remodeling, or planning some project. John moved to Reno, Nevada and began work in Harrah’s Casino carrying change. It was here he met the love of his life, Fay (Patrick) Arnold, who soon became his wife. John worked in the casino industry for the next thirty years in Reno, Sparks, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. He worked his way up from that first job carrying change all the way to the position of Vice President of Casino Operations at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City. John helped to build the Claridge from a traditional hotel into one of the premier entertainment centers on the east coast.
John took a break from the hectic casino industry in 1977 to pursue a career in construction. He took those carpentry skills he learned in California and put them to work building houses in Paris, Tennessee. It was this brief adventure that created a lifelong connection to this state. John’s oldest son, Keith, graduated from the University of Tennessee. His younger son, Kyle, also became a Volunteer so when John and Fay began pondering retirement, they both decided the Knoxville area would make a great home. John called Powell home for twenty years, longer than any other place he ever lived. He made friends wherever he went and found a home for worship in the Eagle Bend Apostolic Church in Clinton.
Preceded in death by parents, Dr Fred Arnold and Clara Arnold, John lives on in the hearts of his loving wife of 50 years, Fay Arnold, son Keith and his wife Kelly of Knoxville, son Kyle and his wife Heidi from Tampa, FL, and grandchildren who lit up his life: Emily, Ally, Sophie, Katie, and Finn, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, and other family members.
Family and friends will gather at Eagle Bend Apostolic Church in Clinton on Saturday, April 9 to celebrate John Arnold’s life. The family will receive friends from 4 - 5 pm, with a Celebration of Life Service to follow at 5 pm . In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in John’s name to Tennova Healthcare Auxiliary Hospice Fund, 7447 Andersonville Pike, Knoxville, TN 37938. The loving care of Hospice helped make John’s last days comfortable and allowed him time to say goodbye to family and friends. Jones Mortuary in Clinton TN is in charge of all arrangements.