Veteran Realtor Bill Arnold also helped start the Davis auto dealers association.

Obituary: Bill Arnold was Davis business leader

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4B

Bill Douglas Arnold, a longtime Davis Realtor and business leader, died July 26 of pulmonary fibrosis, his family said. He was 89.

Mr. Arnold found success in business working with family. He learned from his father and uncle, who started Arnold Brothers Inc. in 1906 as one of the first auto dealerships in Sacramento.

After World War II, he worked with his father and brother as manager of Arnold's Furniture Store at 12th and J streets.

In 1955, he left to make his own fortune in Yolo County. He settled in Davis, bought a Pontiac dealership and added Nash Ramblers and International trucks to his fleet.

He helped start the Davis auto dealers association and was president of the Davis Chamber of Commerce in 1958.

Mr. Arnold sold the dealership in the late 1960s after becoming ill with emphysema. He recovered and started Arnold Real Estate in 1971. Joined by his son, Bill Jr., the business grew to a second office in Woodland and celebrated its 40th anniversary last year as Coldwell Banker Doug Arnold Real Estate.

"My father felt you needed to take a chance in business," said his daughter, Pamela Bair. "He wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities this country is traditionally known for."

Mr. Arnold was born in 1923 in Sacramento to Lillian and Horace D. Arnold. The youngest of three children, he grew up in east Sacramento and graduated from Sacramento High School.

He married his high school sweetheart, Nanele, and enlisted in the Army in 1941. He served at McClellan Air Force Base during World War II.

He served as president of the Yolo County Association of Realtors and was active in Davis Rotary Club. During his early years in business, he was a director of the Retail Furniture Association.

Besides his wife, son and daughter, who all live in Davis, survivors include six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service is set for 10 a.m. today at Davis Community Church, 412 C St., Davis. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA or any charity.

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