James Clifton Arnold Jr

September 7, 1941 ~ June 19, 2020 (age 78)


James Clifton (Clif) Arnold, Jr. of Winston-Salem, NC passed away at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center on Friday, June 19 after battling pancreatic cancer.  Surrounding him was his wife Tina, daughter Kelly, and son Chris.  He was born September 7, 1941 in Waynesville, NC to James Clifton and Regina Welch Arnold. During his childhood years, he played in the band, sang in the chorus, and enjoyed sports. He loved spending time in the beautiful mountains of Western NC. He graduated from Waynesville High School in 1960 and from Appalachian State University in 1966 with a major in music education.  While at Appalachian, he met a beautiful young student named Tina. They were married on July 23, 1966 and moved to Winston-Salem where they began their teaching careers. Clif started teaching band at East Forsyth High School. Clif taught at South Stokes High School as a choral director and worked with the marching and concert band until 1973. He also taught band at Chestnut Grove Middle School and later worked with The Band Company in Kernersville, NC.  He formed many wonderful relationships with the band directors, mentoring them and servicing the band instruments of their students.  Clif always loved Stokes County, the people he worked with, and the students he taught. During his years at South Stokes High School, he worked with the Madrigal Singers.  Many years later, in 1990, after a Madrigal reunion concert and several rehearsals later, The Clif Notes were formed, giving concerts throughout the year, especially at Christmas.  The Clif Notes have sung at the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion, NC State Fireman’s Association Memorial, Biltmore Estate, NC International Choral Festival and for invitation only audiences in the White House. Clif served as Minister of Music and Youth at Becks Baptist Church and Bethany Baptist Church.  He used his love of scripture and gifts of enthusiasm, creativity, and music to disciple teenagers through Bible studies, retreats, musicals, choir tours, and mission trips.  He loved working with teenagers and challenging them to be their best musically and in their lives.  Clif also loved working with adult church choirs, spreading the love of Jesus through music concerts and programs. Clif loved the Lord, his family, especially his three grandsons who brought a smile to his face, the many people he called friends, and his church, Calvary Baptist. He ran the race set before him with so much love, joy, and hope, even when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. God selected a very special gift when he gave Clif to us. All who knew him knew his zeal.  What a beautiful melody of eternal glory he has left on the hearts of the thousands he has served through a surrendered and serving life.  He used his gift of music to spread the gospel among so many people. We miss him but we know we’ll see him again on the other side. His joy is now finally and fully complete. Clif was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Tina; daughter Kelly Webster, son-in-law Phil Webster;  son Chris, daughter-in-law Paula; grandsons Jakin, Seth, and Micah; sister Janice Haynes of Waynesville, sister Karen Kaufman of Waynesville; brother-in-law Steve Kaufman; along with many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank all the medical staff at the Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head, Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem who provided loving care for Clif on his journey with pancreatic cancer. We would especially like to thank Dr. Rocha Lima and Dr. Frank Moyer for the excellent care, support, and guidance they provided Clif and us. A celebration service will be held at a later date due to COVID-19. Details about the service will be posted on the family’s social media pages when a date is decided. A private family graveside service will be held at Becks Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wake Forest Baptist Health Cancer Center by visiting and click on “GIVING” or click on this link to go directly to the giving page: You can designate the donation for pancreatic cancer research in memory of Clif Arnold. 




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Wake Forest Baptist Health Cancer Center
1 Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem NC 27157

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