by A.C. Hall
In remembrances written on an online tribute wall created by his family through Greenwood Memorial Park, White Settlement city council member Mike Arnold, Sr. was described as “a gentle giant, a helpful neighbor, the first sophomore at BHS to make varsity football,” and “a fine example for scores of children and adults.” Would any disagree?
Mike Arnold went to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 11 after an extended fight against various health issues. Throughout his health struggles, Arnold continued to serve on the council, attend his church, and bring smiles to all the family adventures he could get to. He attended as many council meetings as he could in order to continue fulfilling his duty as a member of the council.
Arnold’s name is synonymous with the City of White Settlement and his life illustrated what it means to be a true member of a community.
“Mike always had a big smile, laugh and was ready to talk. He was active with his sons when my sons were in Little League, and at BHS,” community member Teddy Brannon wrote.
Arnold graduated from Brewer High School in 1968 and went on to become an educator and coach. He served on the White Settlement City Council from 1992 to 1996 and then returned to the council in 2011 and served until his passing last week. He was a proud Brewer Bear and was proud to call his home White Settlement.
To glimpse a man’s character, sometimes all you must do is look at the way other people feel about him. Mike’s life touched a multitude, and his spirit of service and community will live on through those he influenced. His family delighted in him, as did his friends. “Mike coached our grandson’s Little League baseball teams and they loved him,” Pat Harwell wrote, “He was a good coach and good to the kids. He made sure he spoke to everyone at church every Sunday and asked how they were doing.” Arnold was fiercely proud of his grandchildren and always wore a smile when they were near. His warmth, dedication, and laughter will be sorely missed.
Place 3, the seat on the council that Arnold held, was already scheduled to be on the ballot this November. Filing for that election is set to begin next month. With his passing, it’s currently unclear if the seat will remain vacant until the election or if action will be taken to fill it in the meantime. The City is currently looking into the situation to discover the proper protocol. Arnold’s seat may be filled, but he will never be replaced.
“Mike was my son’s first Little League coach, and he shared his joy and love of sports with all of the kids and parents as well,” Robert Cantu wrote as he remembered Arnold. “He was a bear of a man who had the biggest heart there was. He always had a smile and good word for everyone.”