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Robert “Bob” Arnold, 87, of Shannon City, IA, died Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Celebration of Life Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 30, 2021 at Powers Funeral Home in Creston. Pastor Dwayne Henrichs and Rev. Jim Morris will officiate. The service will be live-streamed on the Powers Funeral Home Facebook Page. Masks and social distancing are required. Burial will be later at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter, IA.   Open visitation will be 2-8:00 p.m. Friday, January 29, 2021, with family receiving friends from 6-8:00 p.m. at Powers Funeral Home in Creston. In lieu of flowers, memorials are to be established. Online condolences may be made at
Robert Lee (Bob) Arnold was born October 17, 1933 at home in Sand Creek Township Union County, IA to Thomas Alvin and Gladys Elvira (Smith) Arnold. Bob was the youngest of four children. Lois Dorene (1919), Carl Wayne “Sandy” (1924), Betty Jean (1930).
When Bob was a few months old, the family moved to a farm one mile west of Arispe, IA where they lived for 10 years. Bob started to school in Arispe. The family used horses for the farming operation. This is where Bob developed his love for good riding horses, as Bob had to gather the milk cows every evening to be milked.
When Bob was 10 years old the family moved 6 1/4 miles north of Afton, IA. With a team of horses pulling a wagon, and Bob and a neighbor boy horseback, they drove 100 head of horses, mules and cows the 13 ½ miles to the new farm.
Bob attended a one room country school and rode a horse the 1 1/4 mile to the school. An accident with Bob on his horse and a cream truck almost cost Bob his life. The horse had to be put down.
At the end of Bob’s eighth grade year, the family moved to a farm 3 1/4 miles north of Shannon City and Bob went to high school there and graduated in 1952. While in high school he played basketball. As a senior he was on the All Conference First Team and Honorable Mention on the All-State Class B Team.
On June 1, 1953 Bob and Beverly Joan Hannah of Tingley were married. In March 1957 Bob was drafted into the U. S. Army. After basic training at Fort Chaffee he had additional training at Fort Sill, OK. At Fort Sill Bob received training as a surveyor at the Advanced Artillery and Guided Missile School. In October, 1957 the battalion that Bob was assigned to was sent to Germany. Bob and 30 others out of 600 men, qualified for Advanced Survey Training and were sent to Germany in December. Bob was on the boat on Christmas day.
Joan joined Bob in late January 1958. They bought a car and used the 30 days of leave time sight-seeing. In Brussels, Belgium they camped out at the World’s Fair; traveled all over Holland, Germany, across the Swiss Alps into Northern Italy and Venice, Italy. Also into France and Paris.
Bob received the Good Conduct Medal, Sharpshooter (Sub Machine Gun), First Class Gunner (Machine Gun Caliber 50), Expert (Carbine) and Sharpshooter (Rifle). While in Active Reserves, Bob was promoted to E5 Sergeant; served two years inactive reserves receiving an Honorable Discharge.
After Bob was released from Active duty, he worked for the Iowa DOT on a survey crew building I-80, but the Iowa DOT would not recognize Army training so Bob was at the bottom of the crew. Unhappy with this situation, when work on I-80 was halted due to winter weather, Bob and Joan started farming again.
Bob and Joan raised three sons; Thomas Alan was born in 1961, Scott William in 1968 and David Wayne in 1970.
On February 6, 1965 Bob started working for UPS. March 1988, Bob with the help of his sons began managing a cow-calf herd for James Woods. Bob took early retirement from UPS in December 1988 after 24 years and continued working for Mr. Woods until November 1989 when Woods sold his land and cattle. In April 1990 Bob started driving a school bus for the East Union School District; a job he had for 16 years and it made him very proud when former students would call him “the best bus driver ever.”
In 1975 Bob attended “The World Wide College of Auctioneering” in Mason City, IA. This was something Bob enjoyed and did part time for 30 years. In the early years of this, Joan was clerk and treasurer for the business, “The Sound That Sells”.
Bob and Joan’s divorce was finalized in March 1993. In late August 1993, by accident, Bob truly believed it was God’s wish, that Bob met his true love, Patsy L. Beadel.
On June 11, 1994 Bob and Patsy committed their lives and love to each other. Bob’s three sons welcomed Patsy and her daughter, Gina, and son, Rob, into the family. Patsy’s son and daughter welcomed Bob and his sons. Patsy moved to Shannon City and sold her house in Lenox. Patsy then became the clerk and treasure for the “Sound That Sells.”
Patsy and Bob raised a big garden and Patsy canned lots of their food. They worked very hard and made lots of improvements to their home and to the land. In 2000 they built a new barn and in 2003 added onto the new barn.
Bob and Patsy started raising American Quarter Horses that had working cow horse blood lines. Bob and Patsy spent a lot of time working with the horses, especially the babies. Bob and Patsy registered 39 babies that were sired by their home-bred stallion This “Bud” Is For Me. They sold horses in Maine, Maryland, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and California. When the horse market went bad, Bob and Patsy sold the mares and made a gelding out of the stud. Grandson Clay and Maggie have given Bud a good home.
He adored his grandkids and they loved to visit the farm, run the large bales of hay, fish the pond, eat mulberries and spend time with the horses. They played 10-point pitch and “Chicken Tracks” dominoes. Favorites were Grandpa’s chocolate milk, old fashioned popcorn, a freezer of home made ice cream and cake with milk (an Arnold specialty).
In his earlier years Bob really enjoyed competing in events at horse shows. And just as much or maybe more so, Bob enjoyed working cattle for neighbors and friends. Bob really appreciated his excellent working cow horses. Whether it was gathering cows, sorting cows from calves, roping calves to be doctored or roping a cow that wanted to fight rather than being cooperative.
Bob served several years on the Shannon City council and was Mayor at one time. Bob was a long time member of the American Quarter Horse Association. He was a 30 plus year member of the Teamster Retirees and a member of the American Legion.
Bob and Patsy were married June 11, 2007 at the Arispe Methodist Church, exactly thirteen years after beginning their lives together. Patsy said it was easier to remember one anniversary than two.
In 2015 they sold the farm and Bob retired. With home improvements they continued to reside in their home in Shannon City celebrating their 25th Anniversary in June 2019.
When Bob was 86 years old he wrote a book “One Old Cowboy’s True Horse and Mule Stories” about the horses and mules that were a part of his life and how he developed a love of horses and a dislike for mules.
Surviving loved ones are wife, Patsy Luella Arnold, three sons, Tom (Denise) Arnold, Scott (Claudia) Arnold, David (Natalie) Arnold. Step-children, Gina (Brian) Tener, Rob Beadel; Grandchildren: Clay (Maggie) Arnold, Cali (Scott) Benson, Ryan, Janelle, Colin, Tyson, Addison, Gracen Arnold; Nicole and Jace Tener, Ryan McGhee, Corbin, Mason (Jennifer) and Thane Simmons; Great-grandsons: Dash and Duke Arnold, Raylan Simmons; First Wife: Joan Arnold; Nieces and Nephews, other relatives and quarter horse stallion, “This Bud Is For Me.”
Bob was predeceased by parents, Thomas and Gladys Arnold (1983), sister, Lois Larson, (1991) and husband, Lyle Larson, (1996), sister, Betty Nixon, (2020) and husband, Gerald Nixon, (1999), brother, Carl “Sandy” Arnold, (2007) and wife, Shirley Arnold (2000).

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