Local resident Arthur Arnold celebrates his 100th birthday

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 08/21/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX – Recently, a local resident celebrated his 100th birthday amongst family, friends, military personnel and veterans, and even political figures, and Woodlands Online was there to commemorate the centennial.

Centennial celebration includes proclamation by Shenandoah mayor

On August 19 at Avanti Senior Living in Shenandoah, staff under the direction of executive director Valerie Colon and marketing director DeAnna Gillenwater – Avanti’s community relations director, set up a birthday party for the ages. A special display of mementos from Arthur’s career, birthday cake, and dozens of family members, friends, and members of the center’s staff and military service people all added together to make for one festive fete. Arthur was given special recognition by a contingent of army personnel, and Shenandoah Mayor John Escoto presented him with a proclamation stating that this day was officially declared Arthur Arnold Day.

Arthur Arnold was born in Glendale, Texas in 1923, alongside his twin brother Archie. He subsequently graduated from Groveton High School in 1942, excelling not only in academics but also in football. Interestingly, high school football was ‘invented’ in 1870, which means that when Arthur played eighty years ago, the sport itself was only 70 years old.

When war broke out in the 1930s and the United States entered in 1941, it didn’t take Arthur long to show unwavering commitment to his country. He joined the US Navy in January of 1943 while living in Houston, and soon found himself at boot camp in San Diego, California.

Upon graduating his basic training, Arthur and his twin Archie both insisted on serving together on the USS Tennessee, a battleship that survived Pearl Harbor and went on to become a formidable force in the Pacific theatre of World War II. Coming on the heels of the ‘Sullivan incident’ – where five brothers serving on the same ship perished in a single torpedo hit – the mother of the Arnold brothers had to sign a waiver allowing them to serve together. Arthur went on to achieve the rank of Gunner’s Mate, 2nd Class, as he took part in several key military campaigns, including seeing battle in the Aleutian Islands, Okinawa, and the Battle of Surigao Straits. Even after the Japanese surrender in September of 1945, Arthur continued serving during the subsequent occupation of Japan.

Once Arthur’s military service ended, he spent the next 35 years in the oil and gas industry, starting with Magnolia Oil Company in a career path that would later transition into ExxonMobil. In his personal life, he was married to Vera Mae Hutson of Trinity for 47 years. He is survived by two children: a stepdaughter, Rosemary Vaughn, and a son, Brian Arnold. He was a proud grandfather to three grandchildren and great-grandfather to four great-grandchildren.

Click on the ‘More Photos’ link to see shots of Arthur’s celebration.

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