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Thomas "Tom" Arnold '74 April 20, 2021 1:28 PM updated: April 20, 2021 1:40 PM

Thomas D. Arnold
October 2020

Tom was born on in Tarboro, North Carolina to the late Harris and Rosemary Arnold. His family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana when Tom was 5 years old, and he spent his formative years in the Crescent City. Thomas D. Arnold passed away in October 2020 in Covington, Louisiana. His service were held on October 26, 2020 in New Orleans at Lake Lawn Funeral Home amongst a sea of maroon flowers. He was interned wearing his favorite A&M tie at the All Saints Mausoleum. Tom was survived by his wife of 38 years Peggy, children Larry (wife Autumn), Matthew and Kathryn, three grandchildren, four siblings and a loving family-in-law in Louisiana and Texas.

Tom met Peggy in New Orleans in 1981, after Tom returned from a West Africa assignment, while both worked at McDermott International an energy services and engineering firm. They were married two years later. And Tom naturally became the Arnold family supporting rock.

Tom graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy (Lebanon, TN) in 1970. He crossed the Sabine River in August 1970 and joined the Corps of Cadets Squadron Animal 8 Class of 1974. His Animal 8 buddies knew him as Tommy and he and his family opened their home to numerous Aggies during trips to LSU games in the early 1970’s (1970-1975) as well as many other “non-essential” road trips to the “Big Easy”. Starting with a class of 36 fish in August 1970, Tommy was one of the surviving 13 after the grueling fish year. Tommy served on Third Group staff his Junior Year and returned to Animal 8 his final year of the Corps to be with his remaining fish buddies! Tommy was an active member with the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA) while at TAMU.

Tom graduated from Texas A&M University with a Civil Engineering Degree in 1975. He worked in the Industrial (Mechanical and Electrical) Construction/Contracting industry. Most of his experience was associated with the energy industry dealing with pipelines, petrochemical plants and the like. He was employed by McDermott International, Morrison Knudsen, Veco Alaska, NORCON, CH2M Hill and most recently by Black & Veatch. His career allowed him to live and work domestically and internationally with significant time in Alaska. Tom taught a construction business class for several semesters at the University of Alaska Anchorage and served on the curriculum committee when the UAA created their Construction Management Degree Program. During Tom’s career, he held Contractor licenses in numerous states where he managed design and construction of infrastructure projects.

Tom had a unique personality in which he easily saw the negatives in life. His TAMU buddies would laugh when Tommy could easily point out the negative aspects of the things we were involved. Tommy recognized his demeanor and thanked Peggy for being his brighter side of life! Yet Tom took this trait and made it a positive. Tom readily saw the potential pitfalls in the industry he worked with severe and remote environments. As a result, he became a champion for safety in the companies and projects he worked upon during his career. And as that champion for employee and staff safety, many people felt the individual love and concern he had for them as a manager, boss and friend.

Being an Aggie, and all it entailed meant so much to Tom, and he loved reconnecting to his Aggie brothers. Despite the years of being away from College Station, Tommy would share his Aggie pride with his family. He would take the long trip to Aggieland for football games and other events. Some of his favorite trips were accompanying his son Larry to baseball camp at A&M from Alaska and when he brought his daughter Kathryn to midnight yell practice and a spring football game.

Tom transferred to Houston office of Black & Veatch in 2019 which allowed him to renew old outfit friendships and enjoy his beloved TAMU firsthand. Tommy’s last Animal8 Corps trip was to see his old buddies on March 3, 2020, in the Woodlands. Pat Pry, Mark Viktorin, Rudy Bernhard, Bill Rankin, Mark Richardson, Scott Royal, Lowell Stokes and Tommy swapped old memories and occasionally embellished a story or two. In August 2020, Tom had planned to travel to College Station to celebrate 50 years since becoming an Animal 8 fish at Thomas Park in the East Gate area. However, Hurricane Laura precluded the trip.

More recently Peggy and Tom have been settling into their Folsom, Louisiana home. Tom was becoming a man of leisure, hobbies and inquiry at his rural ranch. He had recently purchased a telescope so that he could observe the order and majesty of the cosmos. He was acquiring the skills of vegetable cultivation in his garden. He even dabbled in the manly art of smoking various cuts of meat. And he especially enjoyed the early morning conversations with those that gathered at the local Folsom restaurant. But his continual joy was being with his loving wife Peggy and observing and enjoying the persons his two sons Larry and Matthew and daughter Kathryn were becoming.

Now at Muster, his family, friends and old Animal 8 buds, gather to celebrate Tommy’s presence in our hearts with a sad but spirited “Here”!



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