Cover photo for Robert Bruce Arnold's Obituary
Robert Bruce Arnold Profile Photo

Robert Bruce Arnold

August 5, 1934 — March 1, 2023

West Chester, PA

Robert Bruce Arnold

Robert Bruce Arnold (Bruce), born August 5th1934, passed away Wednesday, March 1st at Paoli Hospital surrounded by family.

Bruce grew up in northern Maine.  He was an avid outdoorsman, vacationing in the backwoods of Maine, climbing Mt. Katahdin, and canoeing.  Growing up, Bruce was a Boy Scout, a member of his high school ski team and football team as well as the glee club and honor society.  After high school, he went on to graduate from the University of Maine with a degree in mechanical engineering, receiving the Ober Award.  Shortly before he graduated, he married the love of his life, Avis Marie Sowers. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Delaware.

Upon graduation, Bruce was hired by Scott Paper Company, but was drafted by the US Army where he served in the Chemical Corps for two years before joining the Scott team in Chester, PA. Avis and Bruce began their family and had 2 children, Catherine and David.  Bruce was transferred to Mobile, AL where he became president of the Unitarian Fellowship and produced a weekly newsletter focused on civil rights, and desegregation.  While in Mobile, Bruce and Avis also became very active in Square Dancing.

Bruce was transferred back to Pennsylvania, where he continued to raise his family.  He worked for Scott Paper for over 30 years until he retired, and subsequently opened his own consulting business.  He traveled extensively, going to South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  In his free time, Bruce loved to play tennis, ski, and hike with his family. He was very involved in genealogical research. He was great at carpentry, woodworking, and home improvement projects, skills he passed on to his son. Over the years, Bruce volunteered with many charities and organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the United Way.  He was an ardent environmentalist, participating extensively with The 25 x ’25 Alliance and The Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection (4CP).  Bruce was devoted to his family and grandchildren, often involving them in skiing, hiking and traveling as well as volunteer projects with his various pursuits.

Bruce is survived by his wife of over 66 years, Avis Sowers Arnold of West Chester, daughter Catherine Beth Arnold and daughter-in-law Jeanne Cannata of Boston; son David Petrie Arnold and partner Shannon Parks of West Chester; daughter-in-law Gina Goida Arnold; Grandchildren Zachary Michael Arnold, Victoria Rose Arnold, and Jacob Bruce Arnold, of West Chester; brother, David Stowell Arnold and sister-in-law Judy Anderson Arnold of Belmont, NC.  He is predeceased by his parents Edwin Luther Arnold, and Mary Edna Petrie Arnold of Houlton, Maine.

Services will take place Saturday, March 11, 2023, with a Visitation from 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, followed by a Funeral Service at 12:00 PM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-431-9000, followed by a luncheon hosted by the family. Friends and family are invited to share remembrances of Bruce at the end of the Funeral Service.

In honor of Bruce’s passions, the family suggests that donations in lieu of flowers may be made to The Arbor Day Foundation; or Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection (4CP), 112 W. Union St., West Chester PA 19382.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Bruce Arnold, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 11, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

The Donohue Funeral Home - West Chester

1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

The Donohue Funeral Home - West Chester

1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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