John William "Bill" Arnold

March 2, 1927December 1, 2018

John William “Bill” Arnold, 91, of Richardson, passed away on Saturday, December 1, 2018. A service celebrating Bill’s life will be held at First Baptist Church of Richardson at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 6, 2018 with reception to follow.

Bill was born on March 2, 1927, in Orange, Texas to Henry Clay and Lolla B. (Godwin) Arnold. After his early years in Orange, where his father was Postmaster, his family moved to Beaumont, Texas. Upon graduation from Beaumont High School, a month after his 17th birthday in April 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served on the U.S.S. Swanson and U.S.S. Bancroft in the South Pacific during WWII.

Returning as a decorated Naval veteran to Beaumont, Texas, he was introduced one day to the love of his life, Frances Messer, “the cute girl with the shiny black hair.” Married on September 3rd, 1948, Bill and Frances began what would be a 70-year partnership in a loving, devoted marriage that continues to be an inspiration for their three daughters, their families, and all who knew them.

After the war, Bill worked for Stone and Webster for $160 a month, but on the recommendation of a friend, he went to work for Sun Oil in the Accounting Department and began attending Lamar University at night on the GI Bill.

His work ethic, integrity, and quiet but determined persistence allowed him to continue to advance over his thirty-seven and one-half years at Sun, retiring as a Natural Gas Contract and Federal Regulatory Specialist. His comprehension of complex contract and detailed regulatory issues made him the “go-to” guy at Sun, a constant resource for Sun executives and outside working-interest owners. He even gave testimony before a U.S. Congressional Committee.

Bill went on to establish an independent consultant firm, Natural Gas Contract and Federal Regulatory Service, which he ran concurrently to his Sun employment for years and then continued after retirement from Sun, expanding its services to clients across the country and developing and launching the first PC based natural gas contract management system in the country.

Bill was a calculated risk-taker who could recognize untapped potential in business opportunities, in investments, in his garden, and in people. He could spot millions of dollars left on the table by people with much bigger job titles and salaries. He loved to pick stocks that few had noticed and watch them sky-rocket in value. He could take a barren landscape and turn it into a lush garden, as he did in the Church Prayer Garden as well the yards of numerous “brown thumbed” family members and neighbors.

Most of all, he loved investing in people, as a loving husband, as a devoted father and grandfather, as a committed Church Deacon and Sunday School worker, as a steady Christian mentor to co-workers and friends, and as a person with a kind word that lifted a tough day for everyone that crossed his path. No matter the day, Bill greeted you with a smile, a positive spirit, and an encouraging word. “Bill Arnold is literally the kindest man you could ever meet” is the response of anyone who knew Bill. He will be greatly missed.

Bill Arnold is survived by his wife Frances (Messer) Arnold, daughters Phyllis Ripkin and husband Joe, Sandra Arnold-Griffin and husband Thomas, Karen Dillard and husband David, his grandchildren Layton Hayes, Justin Ripkin and wife Lauren, Hunter Hayes and wife Abha Kundi, and Caroline Dillard, along with his brother Jim Arnold and sister Maxine Hatton. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Henry Clay and Lolla B. Arnold, brother H.C. Arnold, and sister Mary Arnold Chesson.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church Richardson.

Arrangements are under the care of Sparkman Funeral Home of Richardson.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, December 6, 2018

John William "Bill" Arnold

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Steve Clary

December 6, 2018

Bill was one of the nicest clients I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He took great pride in his trees and landscaping and had a thirst for knowledge that kept me on my toes each time we met. God speed, sir.

Thoughts and prayers to his family from all of us at Preservation Tree.

Jane Townsenf

December 4, 2018

Just saw the obituary for Bill in newspaper. My heart is broken over his passing and not knowing he might have been sick. Carl and I have loved Bill and Frances for so many years. He was truly a gentle, loving and caring man.