Barbara Jean Arnold, JD

April 17, 1949 - December 01, 2019
Barbara Jean Arnold, JD

Barbara J. Arnold, JD, age 70, Joplin, passed away at 10:10 p.m. Sunday, December 1, 2019, at Freeman West Hospital after a sudden illness. Barbara was born April 17, 1949, in Montebello, California to the late Larry Gordon Lester and Harriet Arthur Boettger Lester.

Barbara graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her juris doctorate from Western State University College of Law, Westcliff University, Irvine, California, in 1978. Barbara also completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Pittsburg State University in 2000.

Mrs. Arnold served in the Joplin R-VIII School District Administration and taught A.P. Government and American History courses for thirty years, retiring in 2009. She then joined the staffs at Pittsburg State University and Missouri Southern State University, teaching education prep courses and educational law for several years.

Education was extremely important to Barbara. While at Joplin High School, she instructed and mentored the constitution team, winning state titles and going to the national competition in Washington, D.C. eleven times. She was a longtime member and past president of the Joplin National Education Association. Barbara was honored for her work in the Joplin School District with the Missouri Commissioners Award for Excellence in Professional learning. She was a member of the Missouri Bar Association, where she was active with the ‘We The People’ education program. Barbara was a well-known presenter and facilitator all over the state of Missouri.

Even though education played an important part of her life, family was always put first. Barbara enjoyed spending time with her children, and her grandchildren were her whole world. She enjoyed crafts, scrapbooking, debating, talking politics, and studying biblical courses online. She was currently working on writing a book with her daughters, Rachel and Liz. Barbara will be greatly missed by everyone that knew her.

She married Edward Dean Arnold on April 2, 1977, in Glendale, California. He preceded her in death on January 5, 2015.

Survivors include two daughters, Rachel Riediger and husband, John, Joplin, Elizabeth Arnold-Enslow and husband, Christopher, Joplin; a son, Nathaniel Arnold and wife, Kimberly, Joplin; one brother, David Lester and wife, Danielle, Laguna Niguel, California; and grandchildren, Abigail Riediger, Asa Riediger, Keagan Arnold, Declan Arnold, Evelyn Arnold and Theodore Enslow.

Services are planned for Friday at 10:00 a.m. at Parker Mortuary Chapel. Rick Bushnell, minister, will officiate. The family will have a private interment following at Osborne Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Nathaniel Arnold, John Riediger, Christopher Enslow, Asa Riediger, David Lester, and Keagan Arnold. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6-7:00 p.m. at Parker Mortuary.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Joplin care of Parker Mortuary.

Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.


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