Jonesboro (AR) High School

Class of 1964



Rita Jean Arnold


(June 4, 1946 – October, 2014)



Rita Arnold was the only sister to Maxine Arnold Riefer and the youngest child born to William Adam (Bill) Arnold and Audrey May DUTY Arnold. She was, also, the granddaughter of her paternal grandparents, Charles David Arnold and Amanda Ullman HUDLOW Arnold. Her maternal grandparents were Ernest Samuel Duty and Hattie SIMMONS Duty. Rita was one of nine children, five of whom lived to adulthood. In addition to Rita and Maxine, there were Bill, Charles, and Ricky. Rita was the last surviving sibling, having been preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, her sister and brothers.


Rita was living in Palm Bay, Florida at the time of her death which followed several years of health challenges. She had moved there a few years earlier, obtaining her dream of living near the ocean. Rita was born and had grown up in Jonesboro, Arkansas where she attended Jonesboro High School. During some of her teen years, she lived with her sister, Maxine (Joseph) Riefer in Atlanta, Georgia.


Rita spent most of her career working in the insurance industry and retired from AFLAC. She was a very hard worker and achieved recognition from her colleagues and clients for excellent customer service. She worked tirelessly on family genealogy, which led to her involvement and support of the Find-a-Grave community for over 14 years. Rita also loved attending family reunions and tried to make the annual “Duty Family Reunion” held in Dexter, Missouri as often as her health allowed.


She was married for many years to William Harold Granger. She had two beautiful and very talented daughters, Jan Granger Shempert of Shreveport, Louisiana and Andrea (Thomas) Higgs of Palm Coast, Florida.


Rita was so very proud of her all her grandchildren, Heather (Kenneth) Rash, Devon Davis-Mossman, William Ryan Shempert, Matthew Schuyler (Sky) Shempert, Kami Allums, Sloan Cambron, Matilda Higgs, and Zebediah Higgs. She was blessed to have wonderful great-grandchildren: Tommy, Auston, Audrianna, Tristan, Montana, Dylan, Liberty, Jacob, Jayson, Nicholas, Ethan, and Destin. In addition, she is survived by a host of extended family and friends.


Rita’s final wishes were to be cremated and buried at her father’s feet; a hard working man she loved and missed dearly.


Family links: 


  William Adam Arnold (1907 - 1964)

  Audrey May Duty Arnold-Rhodes (1911 - 1997)



  Nadine May Arnold (1928 - 1928)*

  Fadine Fay Arnold (1928 - 1928)*

  William Eugene Arnold (1929 - 1977)*

  Maxine May Arnold Riefer (1932 - 2010)*

  Patsy Ann Arnold (1936 - 1936)*

  Patrick Sylvester Arnold (1936 - 1936)*

  Charles Robert Arnold (1938 - 1999)*

  Rita Jean Arnold (1946 - 2014)

  Rickey James Arnold (1946 - 2012)*


*Calculated relationship



Straw Floor Cemetery


Craighead County

Arkansas, USA