Bobby Gene Arnold

November 26, 1932 – March 8, 2020
Bobby Gene Arnold

Bob Arnold — a boy from Sheldon, Mo., a military policeman in the U.S. Air Force, an educator and coach in Missouri public schools, a golfer and a proud husband, father and grandfather — died on Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Nevada, Mo. He was 87 years old.

Bob was born on Nov. 26, 1932, to Hugh and Helen Arnold at a hospital in Lamar, Mo., just a few minutes after his twin brother, Jack. The two were raised in Sheldon, where they both graduated high school in 1950.

Bob and Jack joined the United States Air Force two years later. The two were a package deal for the military, serving together with stents in Texas, California, Florida and Alaska.

From Alaska, Bob began his courtship of a young Joann Lightner with a series of letters. Bob and Joann got married in Sheldon on July 31, 1955, at the Sheldon United Methodist Church.

Bob went off to college and earned a bachelor of science in education degree from Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield in 1959. He began a 37-year career in public schools that same year.

In Sheldon and Hume, Mo., he coached basketball and other sports, and taught social studies and biology. He became a school administrator in Hughesville, Mo., where he also coached basketball teams as they went to state championships. And in Belton, Mo., he worked as a principal while collecting a master of science degree from Kansas State College of Pittsburg in 1967 and a specialist degree from Central Missouri State University in 1973.

In 1975, Bob took his first job as a superintendent in De Kalb, Mo. Five years later, he became superintendent in Jasper, Mo., where he led the school district for 13 years before he retired in 1993.

Throughout all of this, Bob and Joann raised three daughters, building a family that — along with the families they would raise — became the focus of his life in retirement while he enjoyed on golf, took up real estate and embarked on roadtrips, including annual winter visits to Florida with Jack and later Texas.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Joann; his daughters Bobette Messick (Dan), Lori Pearce (Dan) and Deanna Yokley (Mike); and his seven grandchildren, Eli Yokley, Mandy Messick, Tanner Yokley, Abbey Messick, Gabe Yokley, Jaimie Pearce and Blake Messick; and a sister, Sue Logan, Harrisonville, MO.

Funeral services are planned for Thursday, March 12, at 11 a.m., at Ferry Funeral Home at 301 South Washington in Nevada following a 10 a.m. visitation.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Nevada United Methodist Church and the Wounded Warrior Project.