Ann Conn J. Arnold
Ann Conn, age 79, of DeLand, Florida, went to be with our Lord and Savior on January 19, 2022. She was strong willed and fiercely independent and easily remembered for her trademark fun sunglasses. She will be greatly missed by all.
Born July 7, 1942, as Ann Conn Johnson at Vanderbilt Hospital across the state line in Nashville, TN, she was back in her home state of Kentucky a day later. She spent her early childhood in Adairville and her formative years in Russellville off 9th Street near many of her good friends at the grand old house ‘Mockingbird Hill.’ She graduated from Russellville H.S. in 1960 as valedictorian. She attended Hollins College from 1960 to 1962 and transferred to the University of Kentucky, where she pledged Tri Delt, and she remained an ardent Wildcats fan and alumnus. She graduated in 1965 with a business degree from its College of Commerce, and immediately went to work for Procter & Gamble as a market researcher, surveying door to door with such new products as Pringles.
In 1972, she met the love of her life Murray Arnold, and married in Birmingham, Ala. in May of 1973. This began a great 40-year adventure and well-lived life as a wife of a basketball coach, traveling the U.S. and world together. Starting with a successful stint at Birmingham Southern, six wonderful years at UT Chattanooga, a dreamy year with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan, a fun four years close to family with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, pro ball in Germany, a championship with the Perth Wildcats in Australia, another championship with Okaloosa Walton in Florida, and ending with Stetson in DeLand, FL where they retired and became proud residents.
Ann Conn was the first women to sit on the sidelines in a Southland or Southern Conference basketball game, keeping stats for the team. She tutored, counseled, and cared for hundreds of college players, treating them like her children. Inviting them over for holiday meals because many could not travel back home and baking cookies for them on their birthdays, even though the NCAA later said that was not allowed.
In retirement, Ann Conn continued her passion for basketball watching UK and attending Orlando Magic games, working with the Tri Delts who awarded her their 50-year golden circle degree, traveling and visiting friends and family, and watching her nieces and nephews and their children grow up. She attended New Covenant Baptist Church as her “city church” in DeLand and First Baptist Church of Barberville as her “country church.”
She is preceded in death by her parents Dr. Lycurgus E. and Ann Johnson and her husband Murray Arnold. She is survived by her sisters Judy Gerhardt of Greensboro, NC, and Mary Hardin Walker of North Charleston, SC, and her four nephews and nieces and their children.
Tremendous gratitude is expressed for the compassionate care and love provided by Heather, Katrina, Hazel, Penny, and Sherri. We also thank Kindred Hospice and their nurses and aides.
A celebration of life service and reception will be held on March 12, 2-4 pm at New Covenant Baptist Church, 111 South Alabama Ave., DeLand, FL 32724. Donations in her honor may be made to Susan G. Komen.