A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at the McSwain-Evans Funeral Home Chapel in Newberry, S.C., for Hitt Watkins Arnold Jr., 81, of Prosperity, S.C., who died in the early morning on Tuesday, June 15, at his home on Lake Murray. The family invites everyone to visit with them following the service at the home.
Hitt was born on Aug. 9, 1939, in Hollins, Ala., to Hitt Watkins Arnold Sr. and Iona Catherine Shaw Arnold. He grew up in Jackson, S.C. After graduating from Jackson High School, he joined the Air Force in 1959 as an air military police. During this time, he excelled as a sharpshooter, obtaining many first-place medals in the 32nd Air Division and other various pistol matches. After a tour of duty on the DEW Line inside the Artic Circle, he returned to the Aiken Air Force Station.
Hitt’s professional career included working at SRS, Continental Can Company in Augusta, Ga., developing the thermomechanical pulp process and later assisted with building TMP Mills in Ashland, Va., and Grenada. Upon retirement in 1994, he resided to the Gulf Coast in Magnolia Springs, Ala., before later relocating to Lake Murray in Prosperity, S.C., to be closer to his family and friends.
Hitt was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. His true passion was saltwater fishing. He received a plaque from North Carolina for catching a White Marlin off the coast of Hatteras. He was, above all else, a devoted husband, father, granddaddy, great grandaddy and friend.
His parents, Hitt Watkins Arnold Sr. and Iona Catherine Shaw Arnold; mother- and father-in-law, Treva Hurst Farley and William Terrence Farley; one sister, Frankie Arnold Brooks, and two sons, Paul Daniel Harper Jr. and Hitt Watkins Arnold III, preceded Hitt in death.
Survivors include, his wife, Patricia Fuller Arnold; one son, Kevin Edward Arnold (Crystal) of North Augusta, S.C.; daughters, Trisha Thaxton Roberts (Steve) of Aspen, Colo., and Tonia Thaxton DeCenzo of Newnan, Ga.; daughter-in-law, Lisa Ratliff Arnold of Bennetts Point, S.C.; grandchildren, Catherine (Brooks) Lanham of Edgefield, S.C., Danielle (Chad) Moody, Kevin Arnold and Abby Arnold, all of North Augusta, S.C., and Ansley DeCenzo and Christian DeCenzo of Newnan, Ga.; great grandchildren, Trent Lanham, Evan Lanham and Maddy Lanham, all of Edgefield, S.C., and Kel Arnold of North Augusta, Ga.; two sisters, Trisha Arnold of North Compton, Mass., and Jeannie Arnold Franklin of Jackson, S.C.; several nieces and nephews and longtime friend and “partner in crime,” John Harvey (Regina) of Prosperity, S.C.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the SC Waterfowl Association, Camp Woodie Scholarship, 9833 Old River Rd., Pinewood, SC 29125, (Please add to your note: Hitt Arnold Jr and Colton Williams Memorial) or to the American Lung Association.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to Dr. Thomas Bradberry and the Remain At Home team, Ryan and Jessie Williams, Kellie Carroll and Dr. Klassen; MUSC Lung Transplant Team, Dr. Mullins, and the MUSC Cardiothoracic Group, Dr. Denlinger and Dr. Gilpin, for the care of our loved one.
McSwain-Evans Funeral Home, Inc., is in charge of arrangements.