Harold Edward Arnett

January 20, 1931February 6, 2011


Harold E. Arnett, Professor Emeritus of Accounting at the University of Michigan from 1962-1996, died Sunday, February 6, 2011, at Clare Bridge of Ann Arbor. Although known nationally and internationally for the work in his profession, he is also well known for his great sense of humor and love of his family and home. Prof. Arnett was born on January 20, 1931, in Hegeler , Illinois , to Dumas Clay and Amie Arnett. He graduated from High School in June 1948 in Danville , Illinois , and within a few weeks he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Navy for 4 years, attaining the rank of First Class Radarman before he was honorably discharged in June 1952. He married Betty Joanne Carter on August 31, 1952, and immediately became a student at the University of Illinois [U of I] in Champaign . During his years at the U of I, Prof. Arnett received a BS in 1955, an MS in 1957, and a PhD in 1963, all in Accounting. He is also a 32nd degree Mason and a CPA. He served as an Instructor of Accountancy from 1955-1956, a tax accountant with the firm of Filbey, Andrews, & Filbey, in Champaign , Illinois , from 1957- 1959, a student, a faculty advisor, and a research associate. In 1960, Prof. Arnett moved his family to New York City where he did research for the American Institute of CPAs. In 1962, Prof. Arnett became an Assistant Prof. of Accountancy at the University of Michigan . He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1966 and Full Professor in 1969. He was the Head of the Accounting Department at the University of Michigan Business School from 1969-1972. Prof. Arnett was a member of various professional organizations, including the Michigan Association of CPA’s, the National Association of Accountants (Director of the Ann Arbor Chapter from 1963-1971, the National Director from 1974-1976 and from 1981-1984, and the International Vice President from 1981-1982). He authored many articles and monographs. He was also an officer and member of various community groups. He was the President of the Wines Elementary School PTO from 1965-1966, a member on the Committee of the City of Detroit Community Relations, Cub-master of the Portage Trail council of the Boy Scouts of America, a member of the Ann Arbor Municipal finance Committee, and Trustee of Walsh College. Prof. Arnett was preceded in death by his mother, father, and an older brother, Carl Eugene Arnett. He is survived by his wife, Betty, son John B. Arnett, Sr. (wife Catherine Ann Arnett, grandsons John Brockman Arnett, Jr. and Michael Edward Arnett), son Carl Edward Arnett (wife Dreama Lynn, grandson Roy Edward Arnett and granddaughter Clarise Lynn), and his daughter, Melia Louise Himich (husband John Mason Himich). A man of love, devotion, and generosity, Prof. Arnett loved to work in his yard, play golf, read, and spend time with his grandchildren. He enjoyed making people laugh and being with his friends. He touched many lives throughout both his professional career and his private life. Prof. Arnett’s family would like to take this opportunity to express its sincerest appreciation for the wonderful care and attention the staff and aides provided to Prof. Arnett at Clare Bridge of Ann Arbor. In addition, the family is sincerely thankful for all the efforts of the team of care-givers from the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Hospice organization. The cremains will be taken to the Port of Embarkation , Norfolk , Virginia . The ashes will be scattered at sea by the U.S. Navy in accordance with the wishes of Prof. Arnett. The family will hold a Memorial Reception to celebrate the life of Prof. Arnett on Sunday, February 13, at the Ann Arbor City Club from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Memorial gifts may be made in Prof. Arnett’s name to: The William Paton Scholarship Fund, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 701 Tappan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1234.


  • Memorial Gathering Sunday, February 13, 2011

Harold Edward Arnett

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Jacquie Kuehn

February 16, 2011

Melia, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. Please know my thoughts are with you. I hope your many memories bring you peace, laughter and joy.

February 15, 2011

Betty, I am thinking of you and your family and send my love and sympathy. It has been our privilege to be neighbors of such an accomplished gentleman as Harold. Carolyn Farmer and family

Carol (Sumner) Hewitt

February 11, 2011

Melia, I am truly sorry for your loss. I remember your dad as such a nice man. I spent a lot of time at your house when we were in high school, and your dad was always so welcoming and accepting. I'm thinking of you and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

February 9, 2011

We are so very sorry for your loss. The thoughts of all of us here at University Townhouses Cooperative are with you and your familly during this time of sorrow.

Bradley & Cynthia Haywood

February 9, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Joseph Patterson

February 9, 2011

John & Family we are very sorry for your loss and are in our prayers

February 9, 2011

Betty, I want to extend my sympathy to you on the loss of your husband. I know the last few years have been difficult, but his death is still a big adjustment. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Best regards, Elsie Claypool

Michael Bonahoom

February 9, 2011

The Michael J Bonahoom III family in Warsaw IN would like to pass along their deepest sympathy to the Arnett family and specifically to Mrs Arnett, John and Cathy. Mr Arnett is remembered as a very engaging and personable person. Heaven is even more Blessed with his arrival. God Bless him

Jim Williams

February 9, 2011

I did not personally know Mr. Arnett but I would like to personally thank him for serving our great United Stats of America.
Without men like him I know we would not have sustaind such a safe place to live and call home.
Thank you Mr. Arnett!

Judith Goodman

February 9, 2011

Working with Harold was always a pleasure. He was an outstanding professor and a treasure at the Business School. May the memories of his wonderful life sustain you at this difficult time.