Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One
Billie Jean Arnold

Billie Jean Arnold

Billie Jean Watkins Arnold (89) passed away peacefully at home on January 24. She is the only daughter of William Dunn Watkins and Virginia Lois Bourne Watkins. A graduate of Lancaster High School, she married Cecil Arnold on July 25, 1947. She studied piano and organ privately with Dwight Steere at Centre College in the 1950s. For over sixty years she served as organist for the Lancaster United Methodist Church, volunteering her time for three services each week as an offering for her steadfast faith. She also led the church handbell choir and was a former member of the Lancaster Woman’s Club. For over fifty years she played the organ at Ramsey Funeral Home, compassionately giving her musical gifts as comfort to grieving families. In the mid-1950s she began teaching piano and taught hundreds of students before retiring in 2006. Her legacy lives on in those who went on to musical professions and those who have continued involvement or enjoyment in music. Her greatest treasure was her family, and she was selfless in her devotion to them. Her loving care was present as a parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent through the time she spent guiding and mentoring her children, teaching them piano for a life-long involvement in music, caring for her grandchildren when they were small, and spending countless hours in the kitchen. There was no greater joy for Mama B than bringing her family together during the sharing of a meal. The tenderness and care in which she prepared our meals is remembered by all of us as the representation of an infinite love. She is survived by her husband of seventy-one years, Cecil Benjamin Arnold, Sr. and her children, Mary Adrianne Arnold Davis (Norman Davis, deceased) and Cecil Benjamin (Ben) Arnold, Jr. (Elizabeth), four grandchildren, Anthony Arnold Davis (Donna), Christopher Lee Davis (Abbigail), William Benjamin Packard Arnold, and Jackson Stephenson Hagan Arnold, great-granddaughter Charlee Clay Davis, step great-granddaughters Brandi (Jason) Hardwick and Brittany Rhodus, step great-great grandchildren, Mattie, Cole, and Archer Hardwick, Zac and Zoe Jordon, and Taylor Edgington. The family would like to express its deepest appreciation for the caregivers who have provided such kindness during the two-and-a-half years of caring for her: Kyle Holbrook, Rhonda Rose, Lavonda Johnson, Tootsie Grant, Frieda Moore, Teresa Cheek, Colleen Haggard, and Hannah Sparks. In lieu of flowers, we request donations to the Lancaster United Methodist Church. Visitation will be at the Ramsey–Young Funeral Home, Sunday, January 27, 3:00 to 7:00. The funeral will be at the Lancaster United Methodist Church at 11:00 Monday, January 28. Pallbearers will be Anthony Davis, Christopher Davis, William Arnold, Jackson Arnold, Glenn Watkins, and Rusty Watkins. Honorary Pallbearers will be Ann Ball, Ann Irvin, and Frances Layton.

17 Condolences

  • Mary Ann Miller Posted January 25, 2019 6:40 am

    So sorry to hear about Momma B. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • Ricky Sparks Posted January 25, 2019 8:17 am

    My deepest sympathy in the passing of Billie Jean, a dear friend for many years, as Billie Jean was the organist at Ramsey Funeral Home, we worked with each other for years, my thoughts and prayers to the Arnold and Davis Family.

  • Shawn Sinkhorn Posted January 26, 2019 12:02 am

    Very sweet and very kind lady. Her kindness and sweetness showed in her kids and grandkids. I’m praying for you all

  • Shawn Allen Sinkhorn Posted January 26, 2019 12:04 am

    Very sweet and very kind lady. Her kindness and sweetness showed in her kids and grandkids. I’m praying for you all

  • Joe and Shirley Woods Posted January 26, 2019 2:12 am

    We are sorry for the family’s loss. She was always so friendly, and told me she liked my memory stories I wrote for our local paper. Prayers for comfort.

  • Debbie Wise Posted January 26, 2019 5:01 am

    Cecil, Mary Adrianne, and family — If only words could provide the comfort we wish they would. Lifting you in prayer to the One who is able to what we cannot. Hurting with you in your loss.

  • Rhonda Rose Posted January 26, 2019 7:07 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all , I’m so grateful for the time I’ve got to spend with her

  • Jim and Joy Nichols Posted January 26, 2019 8:25 pm

    Much love and prayers for all the Arnold family. Mama B was one in a million and we just loved her to bits.

  • Phyllis Howard Bray Posted January 26, 2019 10:32 pm

    Mrs Arnold as I always called her was a very kind and patience piano teacher. I was one of her students for 5-6 years. I will never be her best student but I still play and practice almost every day. Music is as important to me as eating and sleeping. Wish I could thank her and my own mother for their encouragement to continue playing the piano which is my favorite hobby.

  • Phyllis Howard Bray Posted January 26, 2019 10:37 pm

    Mrs Arnold was my piano teacher for 5-6 years. She was very patient and kind.. I am sure I am far from being her prize student but I never give up and I continue to practice almost every day. I wish I could thank her and my own mother for their encouragement to play piano for it is my favorite hobby of my life.

  • Ricky Sparks Posted January 27, 2019 5:52 am

    I must add that the musical talents of Billie Jean Arnold brought comfort and peace to hundred’s of families as the organist at Ramsey Funeral Home, she went out of her way to provide any requests a family would have for their loved ones service, ( my family included ) when Anthony was a little boy he would ride his John Deere tractor with Billie Jean along side him from Cecil and Billie Jean’s home on Richmond Street to Ramsey Funeral Home, I joined in and started pushing Anthony on his toy tractor, that is when Billie Jean and I had some wonderful conversation’s and she gave me guidance on many matters, I will never forget the friendship that Billie Jean and I had.

  • Bascom Owens Posted January 27, 2019 12:29 pm

    Rejoicing in the home-going of a selfless servant of God; grieving for and with those in whose lives her departure has left a vacuum. May God bless you all as you thank Him for the privilege of having known and been loved by this great lady!

  • Russ Sutton Posted January 28, 2019 2:46 am

    Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of Billie Jean. May you find peace and comfort in those cherished memories of her. And i’ll always remember her Tiffany lamp shining in the window at all hours.

  • Greg and Dana Hensley Posted January 28, 2019 1:54 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. Prayers for family.

  • Gary & Paula Hatfield Posted January 28, 2019 3:43 pm

    So sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful lady.

  • The carters Posted January 29, 2019 9:04 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Mrs. Arnold was a wonderful lady. She taught our daughter piano lessons many years. It was truly her passion.

  • Adella and Sue Stevenson Posted January 31, 2019 3:09 am

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for the family.

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Candles for Billie Jean Arnold

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