David was born December 15, 1939, in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Joseph and Margaret (Barr) Arnold. He is survived by his beloved wife and best friend of 62 years. Shirley Jean (Espy) Arnold, son William (Bill) Robert and wife (Christine) Arnold of Harrisburg, PA; daughter, Beverly Anne and husband (Rev. J.R.) Deetz of Jacksonville, FL; daughter, Brenda Sue Arnold of Jacksonville, FL; grand-children, Chad Deetz and wife (Sarah), Faith Deetz, David Deetz, Jasmine Arnold, Chad Stephenson; great-grand-children, Charlie and Jack Deetz. He is also survived by a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, George and Hazel Weber, and 4 nephews who are close to him. Robert (Bob) Arnold and his wife (Graylon) and Ernie Arnold and his wife (Nancy), Dwight Weber and wife (Julie), Barry Weber, and a cousin Alice Willis. A very loving Church family and too many amazing friends to list!
He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret (Barr) Arnold, his five brothers; Joseph Nelson Arnold, John (Jack) Arnold, Mark Arnold, Bernard Arnold, and Paul Arnold, also many Aunts & Uncles.
David’s greatest love was his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He had no higher goals in life than to tell this world about his salvation and help as many people as possible know the Lord like he did.
His second greatest love…..his best friend, companion, soul mate, gift from the Lord, his one and only, the beautiful lady he longed to spend every moment of every day with and managed to for 62 years, our wonderful mother! Shirley or Jean, as daddy affectionately called her. After dating her for 6 weeks he managed to win her heart and these beautiful souls decided to join together. What a beautiful union it has been. In their words, “’We’ve had some ups and downs over the years.” They were married 11/20/1959 in Brookville, PA in their Free Methodist church where Pap Arnold was pastoring and he performed their tiny ceremony, with only their parents and witnesses.
David grew up in a preacher’s home. Pap was a Free Methodist Preacher. They lived poor, but happy. Pap’s family had come from England when he was only 8 years old, so daddy was the 1st generation born on this soil. His family was very proud of that.
David graduated from Bald Eagle High School in Pennsylvania, while in school he was a wrestler.
Growing up the son of a pastor, he was no stranger to church. His entire family was musically gifted. They all sang with their father and played instruments. It was no surprise when David grew up that he led music for many years in the Free Methodist Church in Brookville, PA.
He was blessed with a beautiful voice and everyone loved to hear him sing. He has blessed many choir directors by singing in their choirs, including his son-in-law and daughter.
He traveled as a lay pastor and preached in many churches, while in Pennsylvania.
David began his working career at a Charcoal Plant in Brookville, PA. He and Shirley moved to Napoleon, OH where he worked for Campbell Soup in their factory, when they moved back to PA, when Bill and Beverly were little, he worked several jobs even painted houses. Then he went to work for Shaffer Home Improvements, before opening his own business “Arnold
Appliance Repair”. After moving to Florida in 1986 he began working for Gorman Company in Kissimmee, FL, retiring from there in April of 2004.
After retirement he and Shirley traveled in their 5th wheel RV, before moving to Jacksonville, FL.
We, as children have been so blessed to be taught by a Godly Father what it means to put God first, trust Him in all circumstances and situations. Also, to keep a sense of humor and remember the scripture that says laughter is good for the soul. He always managed to make all 3 of his children feel like each one was his favorite.
Daddy prayed mightily. He knew how to touch heaven. He loved his family fiercely! He was our protector, our defender, our mentor and our guide.
We, the family have been so blessed by the multitude of people who have shared how David (dad/papa/grandpa) has impacted their life, by never judging them, but leading them to Christ, by his example.
What a wonderful Godly legacy this man leaves for us to live up to.
We love you and we honor you, our beloved husband, dad, papa, and grandpa!
In lieu of flowers, family asks that donations be made to Community Hospice, or Alive at New Life