Arnold ("Freddie," to his family) was born June 11, 1918, to Fred C. and Doreen M. Rohrig Price. He attended Van Buren Elementary and graduated from Van Buren High School in 1935, one month before his 17th birthday, having been double promoted. He farmed with his father until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in July of 1941. Arnold received basic training at Ft. Bragg, SC. He married Eva Kathleen Nading during his first furlough in October of 1941.
Arnold was part of The Greatest Generation. During his service in World War II, he was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., Camp Blanding, Fla., Camp Shelby, Miss., Ft. Ord, Calif., Sydney and Brisbane, Australia and in New Guinea. As a Forward Observer with his battalion, his mission was to cross enemy lines, reporting on troop locations.
After being discharged on Nov. 30, 1944, he farmed south of Van Buren High School. In 1949 he and Kathleen purchased a farm two miles south of Harmony and built their home.
In July of 1966, he traveled with a People-to-People farm group to eight European countries and the USSR. In addition to gaining knowledge about farming techniques, he brought home addresses of pen pals for his kids, encouraging them to learn about life in other cultures.
In the early 1960s, Arnold established the Clay County 4-H Tractor Club that allowed hundreds of area farm boys to improve their tractor driving skills and their knowledge of equipment maintenance and safety. Arnold would arrange for the club to meet weekly during the winter at area equipment dealerships, and then would lead the annual tractor driving competition as a part of the 4-H fair.
Arnold was always involved in his children's activities, from PTA officer to band parent. He even climbed to the top of the grandstands to videotape the performance of the Van Buren Marching Blue Devil band.
Kathleen and Arnold were both long-time members of Ebenezer Church north of Brazil, where he taught Sunday School for several years. Following his retirement in 1980, Arnold and Kathleen spent about a month each winter in Ft. Myers Beach, Fla., where they enjoyed the warm weather and made numerous friends. Everywhere Arnold went, a casual conversation often resulted in a new friendship being born. As Kathleen says "He never met a stranger."
During Arnold's farming years, his favorite part of a long summer day in the field was when Kathleen would come to bring him a cold bottle of Pepsi and a snack, then sit in the shade to enjoy it with him. Their 69-year "trial" marriage, as Arnold often joked, was a source of inspiration to many, especially their children. After Arnold's retirement, his Thursday afternoon tradition was to drop Kathleen off for her 3:30 hair appointment, then spend an hour visiting residents of local nursing homes before returning to pick her up.
Arnold's continuous lesson to his kids for as far back as they can remember was "Dare to be different."
Arnold is survived by his wife Kathleen, their children Janella (and the late Patrick) Knierim (Brazil), Ritchie and wife Mary (Fairfield, Ohio), Dan and wife Elise (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Julie and Scott Pinkerton (Champaign, Ill.); seven grandchildren Michele (Gary) Neese, Rob (Shannan) Knierim, Erin (Jeff) Price Williams, Ashley (Josh) Price Joyce, April (Ben) Price Lewis, Abigail (Tyler) Price Schumacher, and Clint (Emily) Price; great grandchildren Mikayla Knierim, Cole Neese, Emma Knierim, Daniel Williams and Joanna Kate Williams.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Madonna Price and his brother Voris Price.
Services will be held at Lawson-Miller Chapel, in Brazil, Friday, March 4, 2011, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Bill Price officiating. Private burial services will follow at Calcutta Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the funeral home Thursday from 5-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ebenezer Church, 1698 E. County Rd. 1350 N., Brazil, Ind., 47834. Visit www.frenchfuneralhome.com to light a candle in his memory.