Cover photo for William Ardell Arnold, Jr.'s Obituary
William Ardell Arnold, Jr. Profile Photo
1935 William 2020

William Ardell Arnold, Jr.

February 8, 1935 — April 8, 2020

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at First Baptist Church, Lawton, Friday, July 24, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., Rev. Kenneth Cantrell and Rev. Jimmy Reed Officiating.

Private Graveside Services were previously held at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Lawton, Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.

Memorial Donations can be made to the Vision 2020 fund at First Baptist Church, 501 SW B Ave., Lawton, OK 73501.


William Ardell Arnold, Jr., was born to William Ardell and Jewell Catherine (Lacy) Arnold on February 8, 1935 in Melissa, TX and departed this life in Lawton, OK on April 8, 2020.

William attended Melissa Public Schools and graduated from Boyd High School, McKinney, TX in 1953. He was also a proud graduate of Baylor University, Waco, and the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX, receiving his master’s degree. He was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ at First Baptist Church, Melissa, TX in December of 1951 and was ordained to the ministry at First Baptist Church, Anna TX in July of 1954. While attending Baylor University, he served as music and youth minister at the Baptist Churches in Melissa, Anna and McGregor, TX.

William served as associate pastor of Union Avenue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN. Upon leaving that church he spent 3 years training as a VISTA volunteer (Volunteer in Service to America) for the Domestic Peace Corps. On January 2, 1966, William was awarded certification for completion of training by Lyndon Johnson, then President of the United States. This prepared him for the next 30 years of service working with thousands of young men and women in the Federal Job Corps Program as a Guidance Counselor. He served first at Lewiston Job Corps Center, Lewiston, CA from February of 1966 to February of 1968, but due to the closing of the center was transferred to Treasure Lake Job Corps Center, Indiahoma, OK from February 1968 to his retirement in 1995. While in Lewiston, CA, he served as pastor of a non-denominational church. From 1968 through 2017 he served 60 different interim/supply pastorates throughout many counties in Southwest Oklahoma and North Texas. During those years of ministry, he also enjoyed doing premarital counseling and performing weddings for many couples.

William, his wife and family are longtime members of Lawton First Baptist Church. He was an avid Baylor Bears fan and a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, raising 4 daughters to love the cowboys just the same. He enjoyed taking his 1963 Corvair to car shows all across the state, winning numerous awards. He also loved attending the many sporting events and other activities of his 9 grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Maggie Loutricia Gilbert Arnold of the home, whom he married February 5, 1966 at North Baptist Church, McKinney, TX; also surviving are four daughters, Tracy Rankin, Stacy Hart and husband Gary, Carey Woessner, Terrie Callarman and husband Steve; nine grandchildren, Courtney Dillon, Wesley Dillon and wife Taylor, Casey and Kelsey Nadeau, Rylee Woessner, Avery, Makena, Coen and Chloe Callarman; a brother, Larry Arnold and wife Pat; three sisters, Joy Chastain, Carolyn Boone, Fama Grigg and husband Eddie; a sister-in-law, Joyce Arnold; plus many other family members and a host of friends.

William was preceded in death by his parents, and his older brother, Lacy Gene Arnold.


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