Canby Funeral Chapel
Molalla Funeral Chapel
Obituaries & Tributes
Robert "Arnold" Thomas
date of birth April 2 1927
date of death March 2 2019
Arnold was born in Oregon City to Dave and Elizabeth Thomas.Arnold attended Oregon City high school where he played basketball, baseball and was a member of the 1945 state champion basketball team.
In 1945, Arnold joined the Army and served in Panama during World War II.Returning home in 1946, Arnold rekindled a high school friendship with his future bride, Shirley Mae Combs.Arnold and Shirley were married in June of 1949 and were happily married for nearly 70 years.
Arnold enrolled at Lewis & Clark College in 1947 where he earned a degree in Business Administration.He also played on the Basketball and Baseball teams and was later inducted into the Lewis & Clark athletic Hall of Fame.
Arnold began his life long career as an insurance professional in 1946 by joining his father at the Thomas & Telford Insurance agency in Oregon City.In 1958, Thomas & Telford became Thomas-Hahn & Co.Arnold became an owner and ultimately sold his interest and retired.
Professionally, Arnold was active in the Insurance industry as an Oregon Professional Insurance Agent association (PIA) board member, treasurer and the Oregon PIA Agent of the Year (1990).He was a member of the Oregon City J.C.’s, Chamber of Commerce and the Elks. Arnold was active at Zion Lutheran Church in Oregon City, St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Gladstone and a current member of Zoar Lutheran in Canby.
Arnold & Shirley enjoyed traveling the world and were members of the Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby, OR for over 50 years.Here, Arnold pursued his second passion in life, golf.
Arnold is survived by Shirley, their daughter Jan’l, son in law Stan Earnshaw, grandchildren JanaMarie Fish (Ryan) and Mitchell Earnshaw, sisters-in-law Ellanore Woodford and Nancy Combs, and 17 nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at Zoar Lutheran Church on Saturday, March 9th at 11am.The Thomas family requests in lieu of flowers, donations in Arnold’s memory may be given to Zoar Lutheran Church.
4 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Nick Doversberger A fine man, solid Christian, good friend and gracious human being. He will be much missed, but leaves an exceptional legacy. Blessings and love to Shirley and the family!
Candle lit by Staff at Canby-Molalla Funeral Chapel Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Ethel Miles It has been a joy having you as a neighbor in Hope Village & knowing you since our childhood.
Candle lit by Donna Lewis Arnold was my employer and friend for many years. I remember my first interview for the job in the early 1980's. I was not familiar with the location of the agency, so asked him for directions. Do I then turn left or right from McLaughlin? He said, "Well if you turn left you'll drive into the river!" After many mentoring sessions with Arnold, I came to him with a problem one day. He said... "Whenever you come to an employer with a problem, also be prepared with a solution." I never forgot that. On the day I was leaving for my very first vacation , he called me into his office and asked what I was going to do on my vacation. I told him I was having a stay-cation and working in my yard and hoped to plant some flowers. He handed me a $100 bill. Well, have fun. Wow! I was so excited about that! Upon my return to work, he asked my what I did with the $100. I said I went to the nursery and spent it all on flowers! To this day, I do not understand his response..."Geez, what would you have done if I'd given you 50?" ??? I loved this man... he was an excellent leader and a wonderful person. He will forever hold a place in my heart. Have a blast with the angels Arnold! You have a new 'whole fam-damily!'