Joan Williams Arnold (1932 - 2019)

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Service Information
Gallant Funeral Home, Inc.
10 Elm St.
Waterville, ME
Prayer Service
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019
10:00 AM
Gallant Funeral Home, Inc.
10 Elm St.
Waterville, ME 04901
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WATERVILLE - Joan Williams Arnold, 87, of Waterville, died on Aug. 8, 2019. She was born in Augusta on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 1932, daughter of Marie Simpson Williams and Joseph Patrick Williams.

A graduate of Lasall Junior College, Joan became Governor Edmund S. Muskie's appointment secretary in 1953, and it was through the Governor's wife, Jane Muskie, that she met her future husband, Willard B. "Bill" Arnold III on the steps of the Blaine House. Their marriage spanned nearly sixty years even though (and maybe because of) they had opposite political ideologies!

Joan was dedicated to improving the lives of girls and women. She was a founder of the first Girl's Club in Maine, now part of the Alfond Youth Center. She was a big proponent of Title IX and promotion of girls in athletics. She was a basketball junkie and thoroughly enjoyed watching her girls, and all girls, engage in athletics.

She was an active Democrat and served in leadership roles both in the city and county. She took pride in working to elect women candidates to office.

Joan was an active volunteer and served some of Waterville's most vulnerable populations. She was a member of the Mount St. Joseph Holistic Care Facility Advisory Board and volunteered as a pastoral counselor. For more than a decade, at The Mount, she was called to sit vigil with residents as they were dying. She was a long-term board member of both the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and the Mid-Maine Board of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill.

She was awarded the Paul Harris Award by the Waterville Rotary Club in recognition of her volunteer work in 2004.

Though volunteering and serving her community was fundamental to her, caring for her three children was her biggest priority. She made their home on Winter Street the hub for kids and their friends. She was their biggest advocate, cheerleader, and supporter throughout their lives.

Joan loved to have a good time and had a great group of friends. For years, she and her husband hosted grand New Year's Eve parties, Bowdoin-Colby football "after-parties" and the infamous Belgrade Invitational Tournament for Croquet Hot Heads (The BITCH) at their home on Messalonskee Lake.

Joan had a spectacular sweet tooth. In fact, she was known to drive around town with containers of caramel and chocolate sauce in the drink-holders so she could make affordable sundaes at a moment's notice.

Joan's family would like to thank the staff at Putnam Farm in Danvers for the superb care of Joan over the past several years. Your kindness, support and humor were deeply appreciated by her and us.

We would also like to thank the staff of Care Dimensions hospice in Danvers, Mass. Joan was enrolled on hospice for over twenty months-an outlier for sure.

We firmly believe the support and guidance from her hospice team not only allowed her to live longer, but with a better quality of life.

She was predeceased by her parents; sister, Marie T. Fagan; her husband, Willard B. "Bill" Arnold III; and by her son, Willard B. "Andy" Arnold IV.

Survivors include two daughters, Elizabeth M. "Beth" Arnold of Salem, Mass. and Margaret L. "Margie" Arnold of Beverly Farms, Mass.; daughters-in-law, Janis M. Cotter, Marisa J. Kelly and Jean K. Arnold; one granddaughter, Olivia Lane Arnold and one grandson, Willard B. "Will" Arnold V of San Francisco.

At her request there will be no visiting hours. A prayer service will be held at Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville, ME 04901 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 13. In honor of Joanie's sweet tooth there will be an ice cream sundae celebration afterwards. An Online guestbook may be signed, condolences, memories shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the

Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter

19 Colby Street

Waterville, ME 04901

or to a charity of

one's choice

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Published in Central Maine on Aug. 11, 2019
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