William R. Arnold

Services for William R. (Bill) Arnold will be at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 23, at the First Baptist Church of Lawrence. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Dr. Arnold died Thursday, November 17, 2016, following complications after surgery.

He was born May 4, 1933, in Salina, KS, the son of Clay and Ruby Arnold. Graduating from Salina High School in 1951, he attended the University of Kansas on a Summerfield Scholarship, receiving his B.A. in Sociology in 1955. A major highlight as an undergraduate was winning the National Debate Championship in 1954 as a member of the KU Debate squad. Awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, he received his M.A. from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1956. Holding a Danforth Fellowship, he earned a Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Crime and Delinquency in 1963.

He taught Sociology at Hanover College in Indiana from 1960-1963 and the University of Texas at Austin from 1963-68 before beginning his long career at the University of Kansas, which spanned the years from 1968-2004. His KU classes, apart from a large introductory course, emphasized crime and delinquency studies. In 1999 he received the Steeples Faculty Award for Outstanding Service to the People of Kansas. He was the author of four books and numerous articles in the field of Criminal Justice.

Outside the classroom he devoted many hours to social and religious causes. A former Eagle Scout, he worked with young scouts at several levels. He also valued his participation in the First Baptist Church of Lawrence, especially the Missions Ministry. In local and state communities he was active in causes advocating reform, especially in the area of criminal justice. He lobbied for legislative action related to the justice system and authored studies on minority confinement and sentencing guidelines. He also chaired the Emergency Service Council, now administered by Ballard Center, and served on the board of the Lawrence League of Women Voters.

In 1955 he married Margaret Jean Smith, with whom he shared academic life and post-retirement travels. She survives him. Other survivors include three children: Janice, Bruce, and Mark Arnold as well as eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials to the Deacon’s Fund of the First Baptist Church, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, or the Children’s Defense Fund.

Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, November 22, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.