Norman Percival (Val) Arnold, Jr. passed from this life on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Hospice of West Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Val was the first son born to Norman P. Arnold, Sr. and Hollis Vose Arnold. He was born in Niagara Falls NY on November 15, 1932. The family soon moved to Atlanta where Val grew up. He graduated from Murphy High School in 1952. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Recreation from New York State University.
Val loved swimming and water activities all his life. During his high school years, he swam on the Havana-Atlanta teams. He swam and lettered on the UGA swim team under the legendary Coach Bump Gabrielson. After moving to Tuscaloosa as the aquatic director at the YMCA, he worked for the Red Cross during the summers moving their portable pool around the county teaching children to swim.
After working a few years under the USDOE Title programs teaching PE and recreation as a traveling teacher among the county schools, he went back to school to get a teaching certification in Special Education from the University of Alabama. He spent the remainder of his career teaching at the Regional Education Center in Northport, AL. He worked with Special Olympics throughout his teaching career and took swim teams to the International Special Olympics in Milwaukee and New Haven.
Val walked uprightly before the Lord all his years and served faithfully in Sylvan United Methodist Church which he joined immediately after marrying Judy and moving to Fosters in 1972. He was legally blind and deaf from his early childhood, but he never let those handicaps stop him from a full, happy, and accomplished life, always seeing the goodness and God-given potential in his students and in everyone he encountered.
Val was preceded in death by his parents and two sons Kenneth Gregory Arnold and James Matthew Arnold.
He is survived by his wife of fifty years, Judy Allford Arnold; his son The Rev. Norman P Arnold III and wife The Rev. Dr. Denise Workman Arnold from Castle Rock WA; his daughter-in-law Trinya King Murphy (Kevin) from Hendersonville, TN; his grandchildren Josh Arnold and wife Mara from Snohomish WA, James Matthew Arnold Murphy from Hendersonville TN, Jessica Arnold Learned from Spokane WA, and Haley Arnold Kirsch from Jacksonville FL; and four great-grandchildren Mila Arnold, Merci Learned, James Learned, and Nathan Kirsch.
Val is also survived by his brother Edward (Ned) Arnold from Charlotte NC, and sister Holly Arnold Lee (Gary) from Atlanta GA; and loving sisters-in-law Rachel Waldrop, Susan Kinard (Tommy) Fosters AL, and Melissa Meman (Jesse) Frederick MD, and loving friends, nieces, and nephews from all around the world-- both real and chosen, as lots of ‘younger folks’ called him Uncle Val.
The family would like to acknowledge the caring response of the Fosters-Ralph VFD, the nurses and staff of DCH MICU and CICU,
staff at Hospice of West Alabama, and the love of friends and neighbors in the Fosters and Ralph communities.
Honorary pall bearers include members of Sylvan UMC, Randy and Ann Burns, Ronnie and Debbie Dickerson, Glen Graham, Chad and Tiffany Bailey, Ralph and Nikki Moore, Robert Burns, Clarence Sealey, Donnie Brown, Bill Taylor, Sheryl Workman, Arthur and Nancy Workman, and members of the ComeUnity Prayer Group.
A celebration of Val’s life is scheduled for Saturday May 27 at 11:00 AM at Sylvan UMC, Fosters AL, with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM.