William H. Arnold (Bill),
88 of Zionsville passed away peacefully April 20, 2021. He was born in Detroit to the late William L. Arnold and Helen Arnold on January 19, 1933. Bill was a graduate of Ben Davis High School. Bill was invited to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals but the Army came a knock’n and he, instead, proudly served in the United States Army, where he was “overseas” in Alaska, during the Korean War. He continued his baseball career during his deployment with the Army. He later attended Butler University, and then began his 42-year career as a self-employed custom home builder. He was a prominent builder in Zionsville in the 70’s and 80’s. He most recently worked as a school bus aide at Zionsville Community Schools from 2018-2020 and loved the kids he was with.
Bill was a member of Salem United Methodist Church in Zionsville, and The American Legion Post #79 in Zionsville. Bill was an avid golfer and enjoyed being out on the course (not always pleased with his performance).
Bill was proud to be known as the man who began the Zionsville Middle School wrestling team in 1980. He was challenged to raise enough money to cover half the cost of the mats and the school would cover the rest. John Johnson, principal at the time, did not think he would be able to do this and was shocked when Bill approached him with the funds. Bill marched in the Zionsville Fall Festival Parade in a wrestling singlet with a sign asking for donations. Once the funds were raised and the mats were purchased, John came to Bill with a problem, no one to coach the team. Up to the challenge, Bill took on the role and was the first head wrestling coach of Zionsville Middle School. He went on to coach for over 30 years as head coach, assistant high school coach and many years as a volunteer coach. He was out on the mat with these young men well into his 80s. People would watch him lift boys up to “crack” their backs, shocked to hear how old he was. This program was his pride and joy. He would love when his wrestlers would reach out to him or say hello when they saw him. He may not have always remembered their names, but he knew who they were. His wrestlers still talk about his “homemade” awards and later he included the poem “The Man in the Glass”. The poem speaks volumes to who he was and how he believed others should act.
He is survived by his beautiful wife of 64 years, Patricia Arnold; and his five children, Penny Lucas (Jim), Karon Hatleli (Lance), Wm. Dean Arnold, Theresa Arnold and Sally Plummer (Scott). He was proud to tell anyone who would listen how many grandchildren and great grandchildren he had. He is survived by his 19 grandchildren , Katie Keck, Jace Lucas, Will Lucas, Ian Hatleli, Evan Rumple, Jimmy Wright, Andy Arnold, Lisa Arnold, Kody Eckart, Carly Bower, Jackie Campins, Calvin Akred, MacKenzie Akred, Emilio Escobar, Elvis Escobar, Donovan Escobar, Kyle Plummer and Ryleigh Plummer and his 17 1/2 great-grandchildren, Abby, Libby and Sadie Keck, Emery Hatleli, Collette and Brynn Rumple, Lillian and Allison Wright, Kimber and Margo Boltinghouse, William, Robert and baby boy Eckart, Jaxson, Brentley, Ryker and Maddox Campins and River Plummer.
He made sure to be at as many sporting events and musicals his children were a part of, and this continued with his grandchildren. Gymnastics, Musicals, plays, wrestling, cheerleading, cross country, swim meets, volleyball and baseball, it didn’t matter he was always there. One of the most treasured events in his family’s year was his reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”. He began reading to his children when Penny was very young. He continued to read this to an audience of 37 plus people every December 24th. Some were on speakerphones, in different time zones and most recently via Zoom.
Bill will always be remembered for the wonderful stories he told of his life and his love for Zionsville. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
A memorial gathering will be held at A.R.N. Funeral & Cremation Services, 11411 North Michigan Road, Zionsville, IN 46077 on Saturday, April 24th from 1:30 - 3 PM.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Zionsville Middle School Wrestling Team. Make checks payable to Zionsville Community School, 900 Mulberry St, Zionsville, IN 46077. Please put "In memory of William Arnold" or "ZMS Wrestling Team" in the memo.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William H. Arnold, please visit our floral store.