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November 20, 1927 – September 30, 2023
On September 30, 2023, Arthur Thomas “Tom” McArthur, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, peacefully passed away at the age of 95, surrounded by his loving family.
Tom was born on November 20, 1927, in Silver Grove, Kentucky, to Madison and Gladys (Rachford) McArthur. He spent most of his childhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tom grew up in Winton Place, a close-knit suburb of Cincinnati where he attended grade school. His first job was at the age of 11 working on an ice cream truck, which is likely where his love of ice cream began.
On January 10, 1944, Tom was employed as a yard clerk, by the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. In September of that same year, he enlisted in the United States Navy and underwent eight weeks of boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois. He was assigned to the USS Kimberly, a destroyer operating in the South Pacific. Tom served as an ammunition handler during their journey to Okinawa. On March 26, 1945, the Kimberly was struck by a Japanese kamikaze, resulting in a devastating fire and explosion that claimed the lives of many and wounded others. The Kimberly underwent repairs in San Francisco before returning to service. It played a crucial role in the historic moment when the unconditional surrender was signed on board the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Following this, the Kimberly escorted the Missouri back to Pearl Harbor. Tom was discharged from the Navy on June 1,1946, returning home to Cincinnati with immense pride in his service as a World War II Veteran.
On October 3, 1947, he married Marjorie Ovaline Waddle. He adored her and was a loving and devoted husband during their almost 76 years of marriage. Together they raised their children Dale and Donna. They loved boating, camping, traveling, and sharing trips with friends and family.
After his military service, Tom resumed his career with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which took him to Hamilton, Ohio and Baltimore, Maryland, before returning to Cincinnati. After 40 years of dedicated service to the railroad and a number of acquisitions and mergers, Tom retired from CSX as the Superintendent of Operations on February 1, 1984.
Tom’s life was marked by his dedication to the railroad, his service in the United States Navy during World War II including surviving a harrowing kamikaze attack, and his unwavering commitment to his family. Tom was also an active Mason for over 65 years and a devout follower of his faith, actively participating in every church he attended. He had a passion for boating where he taught over 100 people to water ski. He also thoroughly enjoyed golf, traveling, and card playing, but his greatest love was reserved for his friends and family.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents Madison & Gladys McArthur, his three siblings Sue (Bev) Huffman, Robert (Helen) McArthur and Jeanne (Charlie) Bruce, his daughter-in-law Judy Butler McArthur, and many dear friends.
Tom is survived by his wife Ovaline, his children Dale (the late Judy) McArthur of Acworth, Georgia and Donna (Ron) Dieckman of Holly Springs, North Carolina; four grandchildren Cara (Tony) Bush, Jonathan (Shannon) McArthur, Rhonda (Steven) Gardner, and Dana (Dan) Cassell; six great-grandchildren Cassidy & Alex McArthur, Drew & Morgan Gardner, and Caroline & Kate Cassell, and countless other family members and friends.
A celebration of life service will be held Friday, October 6, 2023, at the Arlington Memorial Funeral Home (2155 Compton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231) from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Visitation will precede the service from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the same location. A reception will follow at Northern Hills Christian Church (9470 Winton Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45231). Burial will be held Saturday, October 7, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. at Arlington Memorial Gardens (2145 Compton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231) for family and friends (Please meet at The Family Gathering Area. When entering the cemetery go to the left and around the bend, you will see a sign that says – The Family Gathering Area ).
Memorial contributions may be made to Northern Hills Christian Church (9470 Winton Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45231), Tom & Ov’s church home throughout their life together in Cincinnati.
Friday, October 6, 2023, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
The Arlington Memorial Gardens Funeral Home
Friday, October 6, 2023, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
The Arlington Memorial Gardens Funeral Home
“It was truly an honor and a wonderful privilege to have known a great American hero. He loved his country and served it well during its darkest hour. He especially loved his family and his friends. The world was a better place when Mr McAthur was in it.”
“So sorry to hear about the loss of your father. He led a most interesting life and two great children in Dale and Donna. Hoping to attend the remembrance service on Friday. Love to all. Jim”
“I am so glad I was able to visit you all with my mom a couple of years ago. Tom (or is it Dom?) will always be in my heart. As one of the many he taught to water ski and introduced boating to, I got to experience the funny and playful person that he was. I will always remember his teasing and the shakes of his head every time he and Ov opened their home to me so I could visit the Mill Outlet to buy a work wardrobe long after we moved away, I graduated High School and college and started working at Boeing. He was (and is) family and will be greatly missed.”