Myrtle Jeanette Arnold transcended consciousness from her physical body on December 29, 2021, at the age of 80. Jeanette was preceded in death by her loving husband of 61 years, Robert Cecil Arnold Sr., and firstborn son, Robert Cecil Arnold II (Bobby). Jeanette is survived by her second son, Stuart Arnold, and her grandchildren Evan and Lucas Arnold.
Jeanette was born in Tuskegee Institute, Alabama on May 18, 1941, to Roosevelt and Iola Stewart. She was the fifth born of six children; Roosevelt, Curtis, Thomas, Charles, and Harold Stewart; of which she is still survived by Roosevelt (Huntsville AL) and Harold (Atlanta GA). Jeanette was a beautiful country girl that grew up and graduated from Tuskegee Institute (University). This is where she met a charming engineer, Robert Arnold, and they married in December of 1960. Coming from a large family of brothers, and a wise and nurturing mother, Jeanette’s passion and purpose in life was to have and raise a family. Jeanette fulfilled her purpose in life and supported Robert and their two sons while he was in the military, and during his entire distinguished career as a G14 ranking officer for the United States government at Eglin AFB. Jeanette enjoyed making a loving home environment, working with children, and many hobbies and community activities with friends while living in Niceville, Florida. Jeanette lovingly and honorably took care of Robert as his primary caregiver for the last 2 years of his life before he passed away of Alzheimer’s in September 2021.
Jeanette possessed a unique combination of personality traits that made her unlike anyone else. Much like her mother, Iola Stewart, she possessed a great amount of wisdom on life lessons and relationships, despite being an Alabama country girl that did not have a great deal of direct experience with worldly matters. Perhaps it was the fact that she was an outstanding listener, or simply that she never lost her southern accent, you instantly knew that Jeanette accepted you just as you are without judgement along with your mistakes. Jeanette was somehow extremely predictable albeit full of surprises. Just when you began to think she was the most reserved person in the room, she would unexpectedly say or do something quirky, which would possibly have you bursting out loud in laughter, or at a minimum captivatingly amused. Her calming and methodical physical movements seemed slow and unassuming, and yet somehow, she was athletic and quick enough to be the champion of her Fort Walton Beach tennis league. Perhaps stubborn at times (she proudly owned her Taurus astrology sign), and oftentimes insistent on getting her way, you somehow knew she was a kind, generous, and caring person without an ego; she knew when to demand respect, when to step away, when to apologize, and when to forgive. It is safe to say that if you knew Jeanette, she was family. Jeanette taught us all to work hard but not take life too seriously, be yourself, and laugh often.
All of these characteristics combined gave Jeanette a natural ability to connect with young children; her own, babysitting for her friends, and working at a daycare in Niceville. Jeanette’s diverse hobbies over the years included gardening, tennis, bowling, ceramics, painting, AVON, cooking, dancing, and most importantly, laughing. One of her most special activities was spending time with her Niceville bridge group, where it was often difficult to tell if they were actually playing cards, or simply sitting around a table laughing and eating unique dishes.
The family of Jeanette Arnold would like to express love and appreciation to Mrs. Marie Herron, Dawn Arnold, Kyle and Jennifer Phillippi, Anne Rachels, Mrs. Julia Thomas, Mrs. Julie Frank, and Mrs. Linda Pink, the Niceville bridge group, and the Palm Boulevard/Duke Drive community. Thanks to your love and support, Jeanette was able to maintain a lifestyle in her own home where she was most happy. The family would also like to share a special appreciation and thanks to Mark Griffin, who by the grace of God was in the right place at the right time to give the Arnold family one more Christmas. Jeanette did not have any biological sisters, but Norma Jackson and Abigail McGowan were always considered her sisters. Jeanette is also survived by her sister in law Leola Stewart, many loving nieces and nephews from the Stewart and Arnold families, as well as many supportive friends in and outside of the state of Florida.
A graveside celebration of life will be held Friday January 14th at 2:00 P.M. at Heritage Gardens Cemetery, 2201 North Partin Drive, Niceville, FL 32578.
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