Cecil Benjamin Arnold (95) passed away peacefully at home on April 19 in Lancaster, KY. Son of the late W. T. Arnold and Ella Mae Hagan Arnold, he was born and reared in Bryantsville, and graduated from Camp Dick Robinson High School before being drafted into the U. S. Army on June 7, 1945. He was stationed at Heidelberg, Germany as a member of the 504 Military Police Battalion 3 Army Headquarters and was selected as one of the honor guards who stood over General George Patton’s casket where he lay in state. After returning from the war, he married Billie Jean Watkins on 25 July 1947, a marriage lasting 72 years.
Cecil’s selfless devotion was evident by the many community organizations he was involved in or led, but there was no greater devotion by anyone to those who knew and loved him as “Charlie” and “Daddy Charlie.” His love for his family was infinite and so was the love they have for him. Too much is given much is required. Charlie gave generously with his whole heart to God, neighbor, and family, working to make the world a better place through his service to others.
He started his insurance career in the 1950s, forming his first agency in 1957. He played active roles in the State and National Professional Insurance Agents Association (NAMIA). Elected to the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association, Governor Wendell Ford appointed him to serve on the committee that drafted the model No-Fault bill for Kentucky and for which he received the department’s Special Recognition Award for his outstanding work.
Cecil was elected as President of the Kentucky Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and was twice elected by the 1752 Club as Kentucky PIA Agent of the year. He was elected to the PIA National Board of Directors (1972–1980) and served on the national Association’s Commissions and Contract Committee. In 1976 he was Chairman of the Industry Relations Committee and was selected as the National PIA Agent of the Year in 1976-1977 and National PIA Vice President.
Concurrent with his insurance career, he started Cecil Arnold Real Estate in 1959, forming a partnership of Arnold, Napier, and Hammonds Realtors and Auctioneers in the late 1960s and Arnold’s Furniture in Lancaster and Danville, KY. He was also active in leadership roles in the Lancaster Rotary Club, the Garrard County Habitat for Humanity, the Garrard Chamber of Commerce, the Garrard County Industrial Board, serving as its President (1984–1990), and the Garrard County Industrial Authority serving as Chairman (1993-2000), with which he was instrumental in bringing Allison Abrasives to Lancaster.
He was also a member of the Kentucky Historical Society and a board member of the Garrard County Historical Society. His interest in genealogy led to over twenty years of family research, resulting in The History of the Lancaster Cemetery, which he dedicated to the Garrard County Historical Society, and his genealogical study of one of his ancestors: Timothy Logan: Explorer, Indian Fighter, Spy, and Revolutionary War Solider.
Cecil was a member of the Lancaster United Methodist Church for over seventy years and served as its Chairman of the Administrative Board for twenty-five years. As a member of the Church, he helped organize the local Boy Scout Troop and served as Assistant Scout Leader for several years.
Throughout his life he had a strong interest in sports, sponsoring and coaching little league baseball and helped organize and sponsor a fast-pitch softball team. He was a season ticket holder of University of Kentucky basketball for nearly sixty years. He greatly enjoyed golf and had three “hole-in-ones,” not bad for an amateur golfer!
Aside from his parents, Cecil is preceded in death by his wife, the late Billie Jean Watkins Arnold; his brothers, Walter Lee (Pete), Andrew Roy, Alexander Thompson (A.T.), and Samuel Drennan, and sisters Pauline Arnold (Hulett), Louise Arnold (Edwards), and Frances Arnold (Ruble). He is survived by his brother, James Hogan Arnold of Lancaster, two sister in laws, Jean Arnold of Wilmore and Wilma Arnold of Somerset , his children, Mary Adrianne Arnold Davis (Norman Davis, deceased) and Cecil Benjamin (Ben) Arnold, Jr. (Elizabeth), four grandchildren, Anthony Arnold Davis (Donna), Christopher Lee Davis (Abbigail), William Benjamin Packard Arnold, and Jackson Stephenson Hagan Arnold, great-granddaughters Charlee Clay and Tatum Marie Davis, step great-granddaughters Brandi (Jason) Hardwick and Brittany Rhodus, step great-great grandchildren, Mattie, Cole, and Archer Hardwick, Zac and Zoe Jordon, and Taylor Edgington. The family would like to express its deepest appreciation for the caregivers who have provided such kindness caring for him: Kyle Holbrook, Tootsie Grant, Pat Bolton, Brenda Broughton, and Suzie Marcum. In lieu of flowers, we request donations to the Lancaster United Methodist Church or the Garrard County Historical Society. Visitation will be at the Ramsey–Young Funeral Home, Sunday, April 24 from 5:00-8:00. The funeral will be at the Lancaster United Methodist Church on Monday, April 25 at 10:30 by Dr. Bill T Arnold & Rev. Joshua Wiggs. Pallbearers will be Anthony Davis, Christopher Davis, William Arnold, Jackson Arnold, Jerry Edwards, and Mack “Chigger” Gordon Hulett. Honorary Pallbearers will be Lonnie Napier and Ray Hammonds. Friends & family may share memories or leave condolences on his tribute wall at: www.ramsey-young.com. Ramsey-Young Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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