Arnold, Jesse Charles

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Dr. Jesse Charles Arnold of Blacksburg, Virginia passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in Gainesville, Florida. He was born in Bowie, Texas, on September 28, 1937. Jesse was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Peggy Arnold and his parents, Jesse Connelly and Lilly Christine Arnold.

He is survived by daughter, Christa Arnold (Ed Stark) of Gainesville, Florida; son, Chuck (Kathleen) Arnold of Vero Beach, Florida; grandsons, Austin and Peyton Manning of Gainesville, Florida; granddaughter, Haley Manning of Springfield, Missouri; his brother, James (Joyce) Arnold of Pearland, Texas; nephew, David Arnold of Pearland, Texas, and many loved cousins and friends.

Jesse received his Ph.D. in 1967 from Florida State University and from there joined the Department of Statistics at Virginia Tech. He served as Department chair from 1973-1982, then as full professor for the remainder of his career at Virginia Tech. He is an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Jesse was also a past President of Biometrics, President of the Eastern North American Region of the International Biometrics Society, and he had published a statistics textbook which has been used internationally, plus many papers in respected statistical journals reaching international audiences. In 1984, the Department of Statistics established the annually awarded Jesse C. Arnold Graduate Student Teaching Award. Jesse was also a great tennis player; he was a collegiate scholarship tennis player at Southeastern Oklahoma University, and he continued playing competitive tennis deep into his seventies. He coached his wife, daughter, and son to play the game of tennis and they all played competitive tennis thanks to Jesse. One of Jesse’s favorite hobbies was woodworking. His specialty art was called Intarsia which is a wood mosaic form of painting with wood and many people wanted to buy his wood art, but he mostly made the wood paintings for family who cherish his work. Jesse loved to travel, especially with his wife Peggy, he loved going to his special place in Cedar Key Florida right on the water. He most importantly loved his family deeply, enjoyed being with his grandkids and grown children and served as a mentor for all of them. He will be sorely missed.

A memorial will be held Sunday, May 28, 2023, at Oak Hammock in Gainesville, Florida. In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite charity.