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Barbara J. Arnold

Barbara Jean Arnold, age 90, went home to be with her Lord and Saviour October 16, 2021.  She passed away peacefully at Vicinia Gardens in Otsego, Michigan where she was a resident.

Barbara was born on a farm in Redford, Michigan on October 2, 1931.  She was the second of four children born to Donald and Maxine (Richardson) Marr.  She graduated from Hazel Park High School in 1949.  On October 19, 1951 she married Cloyde Frank Arnold and they enjoyed 58 years together.  They raised their family in Royal Oak, Michigan and were members of the Calvary Baptist Church.

In retirement, they relocated to Cookeville, Tennessee. Barbara moved to Otsego in 2014. Barbara was a loving mother who adored her grandchildren. She was a gracious hostess at many, many extended family gatherings and holiday celebrations.  She was known for keeping an immaculate house, creating delicious desserts, and cultivating beautiful roses. She welcomed everyone into her home including the friends of her children who felt free to drop in and hang out. Barbara was a lifelong Christian whose faith did not waver even during trying times.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, grandson David Hartig, nephew Robert Marr, Jr., and numerous sisters and brothers-in-law.

She is survived by her children, Frank and wife Marie Arnold of Wytheville,Virginia and Lynea Arnold Hartig of Otsego. She leaves behind grandchildren Elizabeth Hartig, Michael Hartig and Ian Arnold, as well as great-grandson Brantlee Arnold. Also surviving are siblings, Robert Marr, Marion (Art) Habegger and Jackie (Steve) Quarrella.

According to Barbara’s wishes, there will be no funeral services held in Michigan.

On October 26, she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Piney, Virginia.

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Condolence Messages

Jane Haslett

October 18, 2021 at 9:44 am

Dearest Lynea, Frank, Liz and Mike,

Sending love and wishing you peace. BJ was a sweet soul and a blessing. Her live was a model of goodness.

I have known Barbara Jean Arnold my entire life. I met her even before I met Lynea, her daughter and my best friend since seventh grade. I was a bewildered 7-year-old new to Calvary Baptist Church who had been dropped off the bus and someone led me to her Sunday school class. I remember her curled red hair, her gentle voice, and feeling safe in her care. Then I saw her daughter strutting between the rows of chairs in her new white knee socks chatting with the regulars and I wondered who that popular girl was. My parents didn’t attend church and my attendance was sketchy, but that first impression held true. BJ was a gracious lady who treated everyone with kindness, gentleness and patience—and was always perfectly coiffed.

Lynea and I crossed paths again in junior high. We lived in different neighborhoods and would not have attended the same school if not for a new pilot program we both qualified for. In everyone’s life there are serendipitous events that make all the difference, and this was certainly one for me. We became fast friends—maybe because we both came from parents who were transplanted Southerners, or we just happened to sit next to each other. We were at each other’s homes continuously from then on, and I became a part of a family vastly different from my own.

My mother worked outside the home and didn’t care much for housework. BJ’s house was immaculate. You could literally eat off the floor. I recall one of our teenage escapades when we sneaked Lyn out her bedroom window late one night. BJ found us out the next day because a grain of dirt from the screen was left behind as evidence. I was awed by the neatness of her home. Everything had a place. She loved creating order and making things nice for others. Her home was a haven. Mine was chaos. Even her refrigerator/freezer was organized. The Arnolds had a rule that you couldn’t open a new carton of ice cream until the old one was eaten, even if they were different flavors. This ensured maximum freshness. That was a foreign concept to me because at my house it was every man for himself.

BJ was a wonderful cook. Her table was always properly set for dinner and no meal ended without dessert. She made delicious cakes and had a Jello salad for every occasion. Her sour cream coffee cake is a favorite at our house. My girls always refer to it as “BJ’s cake.” And we can’t forget Oatmeal Daisy cake and lemon icebox cake—comfort in a pan. On days when nothing was freshly baked, there were always Klondikes!

BJ and Cloyde included me in so many family excursions. As teens we rode in the back of their pickup truck to Grandma and Poppa’s, our heads wrapped in bandanas and singing country hymns all the way—a little bit of Virginia and Tennessee in an afternoon. When Lyn and I had our own children, we’d load them all up in the van every summer and head to TN to visit the grandparents. BJ was the only one adventurous enough to join us on our annual hike down to Fall Creek Falls. At 70 she still moved like a mountain goat over those rocks. And she made sure no one went hungry during the outing. My girls still mention her by name when they eat egg salad, as that was her go to picnic lunch.

My daughters have such a fondness in their hearts for BJ. Their own grandmother was loving and talented, but a little rough. She swore like a sailor. BJ was the image of feminine gentility, at times a bit ethereal. I have always identified with her love of cleanliness and order and somewhat Pollyannaish outlook. The girls picked up on the similarity readily. When they were teenagers, I’d catch them winking at each other and saying, “BJM.” I finally asked what that meant. “BJ moment.” I took that as a compliment.

I will remember her laughter. She found humor and delight in simple everyday events: seeing her grandchildren, or mine, a visit from a friend, a picture of a baby she had never met. That is its own wisdom.

Failing health impeded her memory and clarity in recent years, but she was still BJ to the end—kind, gentle, uncomplaining. I am grateful she got to enjoy her 90th birthday celebration with Lyn, Frank, Jackie and the caring staff at Vicinia. I like to think Cloyde and Poppa were waiting to greet her on the other side. Rest from all your labors, sweet BJ. You led a blameless life.

All our love,

The Haslett

James 3:17

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”


Dawn LaVacque

October 18, 2021 at 2:22 pm

I cherish my memories of her laugh and loving ways. Her legacy of caring and concern for others lives on in her daughter, Lynea Colleen Arnold Hartig. Rest in peace beloved BJ.


Cat Deppen

October 18, 2021 at 4:24 pm

Dearest Lynea,

You wrote such loving words to Jane and me when our own mother passed. I can’t tell you how cheering it was to read your words. You made me laugh and smile when I needed so much to do just that. I will try to learn from you and live by your example, but no one spins a tale quite like you, sister. Here goes…

I remember entering the Arnold domain only once. You and Jane were still in high school which would have made me around eight years old. Needless to say, your home was vastly different from the one I knew. The Arnold house was like a foreign country to me. No one cussed or smoked, and all of the surfaces were clear of clutter and sparkled like the sun. I could breath clean air albeit for the faint scent of Pinesol for she was the embodiment of cleanliness is next to godliness. It was like entering a mosque. Cloyd was grunting from his chair while Barbara Jean buffeted about the kitchen whipping up something delicious. She apologized that the goody was still in the oven, and she gave me something from the freezer (probably a Klondike bar) to tide me over. Since then, I have always thought of B.J. as a bird…a bright, cheery, busy little bird. Like a Disney animated chickadee, she darted about her home from place to place chirping, feathering her nest, and feeding her young. I think she is flitting about heaven as we speak, twittering and singing and handing out Klondikes…and napkins!


Ellen Schmidt

October 18, 2021 at 5:12 pm

My most vivid memories of “BJ” were at Thanksgiving. She would invite my sister and me to join her and Cloyde so we could be with family when our own parents lived out of the country. She never sat down! Always busy, always cooking, baking, or serving, always caring, welcoming, and so so kind. I will remember her warmth, sweet smile, and laughter.

Rest in peace, dearest BJ.

Lynea & Frank, I wish you and your kids peace and love. May you be comforted knowing she is in a better place with no pain, no fear, no confusion, and many Klondike bars!



Mary Hartig

October 19, 2021 at 9:15 am

Mrs. Arnold, Mrs. Arnold, not only could one have eaten off the floor of your spotless home, but off the top of the thermostat. This I remember thinking when I was at the RO house in high school, in 1972 or ’73, and saw it being cleaned(!).

Lynea, you took as good care of her as she did of you back then. But it’s a difficult transition even without regret. Thinking of you and Frank and your families today.


Mary Hartig


Kathy Kranenburg

October 19, 2021 at 1:48 pm

Dear Lynea, Michael, and Liz,

We are lifting you in prayer as you go through this difficult time. Although she is absent from this life, praise God your mother/grandmother is present with the Lord! May your memories and caring friends sustain you through the coming weeks and year.

Our love and prayers,’

Kathy and Doug Kranenburg


Terri Shaler

October 19, 2021 at 9:28 pm

Lynea, What beautiful memories written about your mom. Obituaries & memories never tell the full story of one’s life but it is obvious your mom was a loving and wonderful person. You have so many of her caring traits.

May you find peace in so many memories you have with mom. May God sustain and hold you close. May your friends and family give you comfort.

You remain in my heart and prayers. ((hugs))


Ruby Rogers

October 20, 2021 at 3:36 pm


Just sending sympathies your way, thank you for giving the opportunity to know and help your mother she was a sweet women. May God surround you with comfort and peace.


Margie Steiner

October 21, 2021 at 4:47 am

I only met BJ a couple of times, but she seemed to be the ultimate hostess, flitting around taking care of her guests, smiling and laughing. She lived a good long life, and I’m sure she’s part of the hospitality crew in heaven, attending to everyone’s needs. To Lynea, Frank, Liz and Michael- I hope you have lots of good memories and stories to keep her alive in your own families. My deepest sympathy to everyone. Love you all- Margie


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