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Monice Dworski Arnold

Posted By Hall-Wynne On January 4, 2012 @ 12:00 am In Obituaries | No Comments

Monice Dworski Arnold died at her home in Durham, NC on January 4, 2012, attended by her children as she wished. She was 94; every day of her life was met with optimism and humor.

Born in Rochester, NY in 1917, she was the youngest of six children of Gertrude B. and Maurice Dworski, immigrants from Eastern Europe. She attended Rochester city schools and graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1941, studying Shakespeare and art history. She was the first girl in her family to attend college, and she made lifelong friends as a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. During World War II, she managed and expanded her elder brothers’ businesses and property while they were serving in the military, the first of many unusual endeavors demonstrating her strong work ethic, commitment to family, and keen business acumen. Monice married Ralph Arnold, MD in 1947 and moved with him to Durham, NC, where they embraced the vibrant academic and medical community at Duke University and had four children prior to Ralph’s passing in 1960. She fully participated in the civic, cultural, and Jewish life of her adopted hometown of Durham. Monice was deeply devoted to her many volunteer activities, some of which included Beth El Synagogue, Hadassah, the Nasher Art Museum at Duke University, Carolina Theater, and Concern of Durham, Inc.. Fiercely independent, generous, and active until the end of her life, she nurtured friendships across generations and backgrounds and inspired all she met with her irrepressible joie de vivre. A lifelong learner, Duke basketball fanatic, one time golf champion, social research interviewer, and unique matriarch, Monice was a true original.

She is lovingly remembered by her surviving family: daughter Louise Davis and son-in-law Cliff, son Andy Arnold, son John Van Arnold and daughter-in-law Donna, and son James Arnold; grandchildren Elizabeth Racheva and Danail Rachev, Aaron Davis, Benzie van Arnold, and Rachel van Arnold; and great-granddaughter Kalina Racheva, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A private service will be held by the family. A memorial gathering will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Monice’s name may be made to any of the following organizations: Beth El Legacy Fund, Beth El Synagogue, 1004 Watts Street, Durham, NC 27701; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2001 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27705; The Carolina Theater, 309 West Morgan Street Durham, NC 27701; and Greenhouse for Girls and Greenhouse for Boys Concern of Durham, Inc., 3001 Academy Road, Suite 230, Durham, NC 27707.

The Arnold family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham. Online memorials: www.hallwynne.com Select obituaries.


Condolences for the family of “Monice Dworski Arnold”

Condolence from Jim Devore on January 13th, 2012 12:00 am

I supervised Monice on several research projects when she was a telephone interviewer. She was a pleasure to work with and to know. Born the same year as my mother, and under similar conditions, she was a testimony to the American dream. My deepest sympathy to the family of a truly remarkable woman.

Condolence from Barbara Gordon Moore on January 22nd, 2012 12:00 am

One of the nicest, sweetest ladies I ever met. A mother first, she was so active in so many ways. What an inspiration to us all. Our deepest sympathy go to all of the Arnold children.

Condolence from Marion Ross Godfrey on January 25th, 2012 12:00 am

Hi, Louise, John, Andy, and Jim,
I had a wonderful phone conversation with your mom December 16. Your obituary sums her up perfectly, especially her “irrepressible joie de vivre!” I am very sad she is gone but SO glad she was able to stay at home and had a clear mind so near the end. We will always be able to hear the enthusiasm in her voice in our minds’ ears, won’t we?! Please, at least one of you, please contact me by e-mail as I don’t have your phone numbers and am unsure about exactly where most of you live, to be able to call you. Thanks! Love to all of you, Marion

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