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1924 - 2016
Nov. 1, 1924 - Dec. 23, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY Claude Arnold, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on Dec. 23, 2016. Born Nov. 1, 1924, in Okmulgee, OK to Wallace and Ruby Arnold, he was preceded in death by his only sibling, Sammie Arnold. Claude lived an incredibly rich, long life, full of accomplishments. Recruited to The University of Oklahoma in 1941, Claude's football career was interrupted by World War II. As did so many men of his era, Claude enlisted and was fortunate enough to be stationed at March Field in Riverside, CA, where he was discovered by fellow Oklahoman and Sooners great, Indian Jack Jacobs, who recruited Claude to the elite Fourth Army Air Corps football team, where he quickly established his reputation. He returned to Norman after the war and resumed his University studies when he was rediscovered quarterbacking the Delta Tau Delta intramural football team by new head football coach, Bud Wilkinson. Claude played on the great 1948, 1949, and 1950 OU teams, quarterbacking the Sooners in 1950 to their first national championship title, setting many school and NCAA passing records that stood for decades. He met the love of his life, Nancy Noftsger, of Oklahoma City, the Thursday before the 1950 OU-Texas game. They married after the season, and Claude continued his football career playing for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League, where he was the All-Pro Quarterback for the 1953 season, setting passing records that still stand today. After retiring, he returned to Oklahoma City and founded Arnold Petroleum, beginning a long and successful career in the oil business. He became an avid and accomplished golfer late in life, developing many long-lasting friendships. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of sixty-five years, Nancy; eldest son, Cody and his wife Mary, Claude's grandchildren, Eric and Adrienne; and his great-grandchildren, Caveh and Nousha; youngest son, Blake and his wife Cindy; Claude's grandchildren, Buck, Rachel, Reed, and Rebecca; and his great-grandchildren, Stella, Ruby, and Riley. Claude's family would like to thank all of his many friends for their love and support. The family has decided on a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to The University of Oklahoma.
Published in The Oklahoman from Dec. 25 to Dec. 26, 2016
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