In Memoriam: Chuck Arnold

Charles Madison Arnold (Chuck) passed away on January 7th, 2024 at 80 years of age following a prolonged battle with cancer in his home in Modesto, California.

Born on November 12, 1943 in Hillsborough, Oregon to Berna and Edward Arnold, Chuck’s life was marked by dedication and love to his family and community. He graduated from Linfield College Oregon in 1965 with a BS in Business Administration.

It was at Linfield College where Chuck met his future wife, Karen Ann Phillips, daughter of Wilma and Elton Phillips of Modesto. From the first days of their courtship, they knew they were a match and on May 28, 1967, they were married at the First Baptist Church in Modesto.

During the first years of their marriage, Chuck and Karen lived in Germany, where Chuck served as a Czech linguist for the U.S. Army. The couple lived in many cities in Oregon and California before settling in Modesto in 1988. Their marriage spanned 56 years and they were blessed with three children; Carrie, Joseph and David.

During the ’70s and ’80s, Chuck was a commercial real estate developer for Southland Corporation. In 1988, Chuck and Karen joined – and later led – the family business, Phillips Lighting & Home in Modesto. His contributions to the lighting industry were notable, including his involvement with the American Lighting Association (ALA) and as a founding member of Lighting One, serving on its advisory board.

In 2005, Phillips Lighting & Home won the ARTS award for Best Lighting Showroom in the U.S. Western Region. Recently celebrating 75 years in business, Phillips Lighting & Home continues with its third generation, led by his daughter, Carrie Arnold.

Chuck’s faith was a very important part of his life. Chuck and Karen were founding members of Saint James Antiochian Orthodox Church in Modesto, which has grown from humble beginnings to a thriving parish of over 70 families. He was a beloved member of the church community and fellow parishioners were some of his most cherished relationships.

Chuck impacted the lives of dozens of Modesto youth with Boy Scout Troop 14 in the Yosemite Area Council by conducting extensive backpacking adventures. He had a deep-rooted passion for golf, enabling lifelong connections and travel with friends and family. Notably, at age 79, he achieved golf rounds matching his age.

Chuck, is survived by his wife, Karen, and their children: daughter Carrie Arnold and her husband Tim Weber of Modesto, along with grandchildren Avery and Joseph Weber; son Joseph and his wife Karen MacKellar of Modesto, with grandchildren Dorothy, Suzanne, and Ramona; and son David and his wife Kirstin Arnold of Berkeley, with grandchildren Nathan and Julia. Chuck is also mourned by his sister, Jane Williamson of Bend, Oregon, as well as in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a host of long-time friends.

An unwavering optimist, Chuck Arnold’s life left a lasting impact on his family, friends, and community. He was a joyful and enthusiastic man, as well as a teacher and mentor.

Funeral services will be at St. James Orthodox Church at 725 Maze Blvd in Modesto, CA on Thursday, January 11th at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, that family requests that donations may be made to The H Foundation.

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