Cover photo for Jim D. Arnold's Obituary
Jim D. Arnold Profile Photo
1938 Jim 2023

Jim D. Arnold

May 3, 1938 — July 1, 2023


James (Jim) Donovan Arnold, 85, of Clayton, died Saturday, July 1, 2023, at home doing what he loved: working outside on his property.  Jim was born at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, IN to Donovan and Hazel (Lane) Arnold on May 3, 1938. He was preceded in death by his parents.  Jim attended Wayne Township Schools in Indianapolis graduating from Ben Davis High School in 1956.

Jim, and the extended Arnold family, loved the Indianapolis 500 and attended the race as a family every year starting in the 1920s. Jim began attending the 500 in the 1950s seldom missing a race until he was in his 70s. Jim is the only family member to maintain his tickets through the next generation, and his children and grandchildren continue to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend tradition.

Jim was a member of the Scottish Rite participating in the Northwest Masonic Lodge 770 in Indianapolis.

After a short stint at Allison Transmission, Jim began an apprenticeship as a tool maker with General Motors Truck & Bus in Indianapolis. He moved into supervision in the sewing room in the 1970s eventually retiring from manufacturing engineering in 1999 after 42 years.

Drafted into the US Army in 1962, Jim served in the military police at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, CO for the duration of his enlistment. He loved Colorado and claimed he might not have returned to Indiana were it not for his apprenticeship. Family has wondered if a dear friend from home influenced his return as well.

Classmates and friends since they were 15 years old, Jim and Colleen Murray often double-dated in high school—with different dates. Eventually, romance blossomed, and they were married May 25, 1968, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Indianapolis.

Jim and Colleen shared a love of horses their entire life, often riding together and traveling to trail rides through the Indiana Farm Bureau Rural Youth program before they were married. Jim helped Ezra Eads Triple E Stables with the harness racing team from the 1950s through the 1980s doing anything that needed to be done to support the team.

It was only fitting that Jim and Colleen settled on some acreage in Clayton, IN in 1971 and always had between three and 13 horses.

While raising two sons, Jim became a dedicated volunteer in the Mill Creek area serving with the Belleville Little League, Mill Creek Optimists and Optimist International, Cartersburg Fish Fry and Cascade High School Athletic Booster Club. He served two terms on the Mill Creek School Board in the 1990s. He kept the book for Cascade High School Varsity & JV boys’ basketball from his son Kyle’s freshman year in 1985 to 2015. He only retired to ensure he could attend all his grandson Austin’s games while he played for South Putnam from 2015 to 2019.

While he was raised in the Washington Street United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Jim attended Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church for most of his marriage. While not a Catholic, he volunteered with many events through the years including the annual fish fry fundraiser and monthly Sunday breakfasts.

In his retirement, Jim met weekly with former work friend ROMEOs—Retired Old Men Eat Out. These same friends traveled annually together to Colorado in their working and retirement years. In addition, he volunteered at the election polls for Liberty Township for more than 20 years and helped with Meals on Wheels.

Throughout his life, Jim loved to attend the draft hitch horse shows at the Indiana State Fair. He developed an interest in the Haflinger breed. This led to him purchasing a team, building his own wagon and driving the horses in parades and events during his retirement. When his granddaughter Megan began showing horses in 4H, his son Tim and family became interested in competing in the Indiana Haflinger Horse Association (IHHA). For more than 10 years, Arnold Family Haflingers traveled the Midwest to compete. Jim served on the board of IHHA during this time as well. Jim loved to spend time with other horse enthusiasts and meet new people.

Jim was a proud supporter of his five grandchildren, attending many of their events (swimming, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, cross country, volleyball, 4H and theatre). If he couldn’t attend, he always wanted a call detailing the game or event!

Jim is survived by his wife of 55 years Colleen (Murray) Arnold; sons Tim (Beth) Arnold of Coatesville, IN, and Kyle (Twyla) Arnold of Westfield, IN; brother Jack (Marguerite) Arnold of Somerset, KY; five grandchildren Megan and Austin Arnold of Coatesville and Bridget, Alex and Susanna Arnold of Westfield; as well as numerous great nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Friday, July 7, 2023, from 4 pm to 8 pm at Helton & Harris Funeral Home, formerly Weaver & Randolph, 102 S. Indiana St, Danville, IN 46122. A funeral service will begin at 10 am, Saturday, July 8, 2023, at the funeral home with burial to follow in Clayton Cemetery, 5884 S. CR 0, Clayton, IN 46118. Online condolences may be offered at

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Cascade High School Athletics, c/o Athletic Director Scott Stevens, 6565 S. CR 200 W., Clayton, IN 46118; Liberty Township Fire Department, 111 E. Kentucky St., Clayton, IN 46118; Mill Creek Optimist Club, 6631 S. CR 200 W., Clayton, IN; or the charity of your choice in Jim’s name.

The family wishes to thank family and friends for all the love and support they continue to receive during this difficult time.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 7, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Starts at 11:15 am (Eastern time)

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