Betty Nell Arnold December 12, 2020

Betty Nell Arnold (nee Davis), 93, passed away Dec. 12, 2020 from pneumonia after contracting COVID-19.

She was born October 16, 1927 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois to Leonard and Leona Davis.

Survivors include daughter Kolina Edwards and husband Keith; daughter Kristie Whitney and husband David; son Kevin Martin and wife Lihua Yang; daughter-in-law Deloris Easley; stepdaughter Frances Gilman; and stepson Allen Arnold. She is also survived by many, many grandchildren, step-grandchildren, adopted grandchildren, great grandchildren, and her very special lifelong friend Robert Kent.

In addition to her parents, sisters and brother, Betty was preceded in death by husband Clyde Arnold, son Kenneth Martin, stepson Nelson Gilman, and stepdaughters Martha Armistead and Nancy Arnold.

Betty earned her bachelor and master’s degrees in elementary education from SIU-C. She and her family served as foreign missionaries in Malaysia from 1956-1963 where Betty learned to speak Chinese, prepare her signature fried rice, and tutor non-English speaking students. After returning to Illinois, she taught first grade, Head Start, and remedial reading until she retired in 1982. Betty had a love for gardening and floral arranging and was a certified floral judge for garden club shows.

A celebration of Betty’s inspiring life journey with the many people who were blessed to walk with her in her path will be held at a later date when people can again join together safely. Charitable donations would be a suitable memorial in lieu of flowers.


  1. Susan Adorjan says

    As a member of her Garden Club and person who admired and loved her, I will miss her so much. I was blessed to know her. She will be missed by many people.

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