Sunday, September 21, 2014

True Blue Devil Arnold gave back starting in high school

doug arnold1W

Doug Arnold, longtime Realtor and philanthropist and 1965 graduate of Davis High School, will be inducted into the DHS Hall of Fame on Sept. 13. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | August 27, 2014 |


What: Davis High School Hall of Fame induction dinner for Doug Arnold, Rachel Moore, Paul Ochs, Marcy Place Sheehan and Wanda Winton

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13

Where: ARC Ballroom, UC Davis

Tickets: $65 per person, or a table of 10 may be reserved for a $1,000 sponsorship; in addition, locals are asked to thank a teacher by donating the cost of a ticket

RSVPs: Due Sept. 6; visit or call 530-681-5020

* Editor’s note: This is the third in a five-part series of stories profiling the 2014 inductees into the Davis High School Hall of Fame.

Back in The Day — by his own admission — Doug Arnold wasn’t the best student.

But Arnold knew people. He knew how to organize, plan a good time and help folks.

Davis High School’s legacy has been built by myriad people in all walks of life, many of whom have moved on. Fortunately for Davis, though, Doug Arnold decided to stay home — where his heart is — becoming an integral part of everything that is right about this community.

For his contributions, dating back to before his 1965 DHS graduation, Arnold joins former counselor/coach Paul Ochs, American Theatre Ballet CEO Rachel Moore, Olympic athlete Marcy Place Sheehan and dedicated volunteer Wanda Winton as members of the seventh class of the Blue & White Foundation’s Davis High School Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at the ARC Ballroom on the UC Davis campus.

Arnold, 66, sat with his daughter Cary to talk about what the honor means to him and to share some early stories.

Arnold has been struggling with his health (memory loss) and was happy to have the eldest of his three “kids” by his side while reminiscing.

Arnold’s parents (mom Nan and the late Bill) began teaching Doug about the importance of giving back before their son even got to high school.

Arnold Pontiac on Olive Drive was steeped in customer service — and young Doug got the hang of it early.

“Dad says he wasn’t the best student,” laughs Cary, while getting a chuckle from Pops. “But he was happy and lucky that many of his teachers owned Pontiacs because when they needed a car serviced … he’d take their car down during class, have someone look at it quickly and run it back.”

Arnold would make sure the car was washed and its tank full before returning it to his teachers.

“Whoever didn’t own a Pontiac, he’d be sure to mow their lawns on the weekends,” Cary reports.

… And those C’s and B’s just kept on coming.

Doug Arnold joked at a Davis Chamber of Commerce luncheon some years ago that his dad’s dealership was “helpful in getting me through school,” but he added that Bill — and time spent working at the auto store — taught him people skills and that “relationships can help get you through most things.”

At Davis High, Arnold played football, was class president, organized dances, established The Rear Ends Car Club and was Homecoming king.

Immediately upon graduation, the free-spirited Arnold and his good friend Kenny Whitehouse ventured across the United States. Upon returning home, Arnold waited tables, drove a tomato truck and did this and that.

When it was time for a real job, Arnold became a San Francisco police officer. In the Bay Area, he earned the Medal of Valor Award (1973) and worked some Candlestick Park duty. A fast friend of his was Davis High grad and San Francisco Giants pitcher Ron Bryant. Not a pair to shy from the night life, Arnold once said it was his duty to wake Bryant up and let him know, “Hey, you’re pitching today.”

Returning to Davis, son joined dad at Arnold Real Estate. “It was great to get a paycheck without somebody shooting at you,” Arnold told Cary a few years ago.

Over the years, the Arnolds’ business evolved. Dave Taormino is a partner in Coldwell Banker-Doug Arnold Real Estate, and the realty firm continues its work in supporting dozens of community groups.

Arnold’s daughter estimates he’s donated more than $1 million to local projects. A donation to the DHS Blue & White Foundation was instrumental in the rebuilding of Ron & Mary Brown Stadium at the high school. Friends of Allied Non-Profits and the Davis Schools Foundation also have received generous donations, but hundreds of other projects over the years have benefited from Arnold’s give-back philosophy.

A veteran of countless area organization boards, Arnold has volunteered with the Chamber, Davis Rotary Club, FamiliesFirst Volunteer Santa program, Yolo County Housing Authority, Yolo County Association of Realtors and others.

He was voted Davis Citizen of the Year (C.A. Covell Award) in 1994, became the city’s Honorary Mayor in 1991 and was the 1977 Realtor of the Year.

When Cary broke the Hall of Fame induction news to her father, she says they both “stood there and cried.”

“He’s received lots of awards, but they were mostly business awards,” Cary says. “This is more of a personal honor … it’s about how he is as a man. He’s a true Blue Devil for life.

“His love for the community started at Davis High — so this (award) seems extra-special.”

Notes: Arnold’s three offspring are Cameron Jenness and Will and Cary Arnold. He has 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson. With Great-Great-Grandma Nan, 90, that makes five generations of Arnolds still in Davis. …Doug had been active in orchestrating several Class of ’65 reunions. …Bryant, who won 24 games for the Giants in 1973, helped out at Arnold’s old sporting goods and shoe store on F Street south of Fifth. …As a cop, Arnold’s one-time partner was Dan White, the San Francisco supervisor who assassinated Mayor George Moscone and colleague Harvey Milk in 1978.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at or 530-320-4456



Bruce Gallaudet

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