(1920 — 2012)
Dick Tarpley, former editor of the Abilene Reporter-News, died Sept. 17 in Abilene. He was 92.
Tarpley worked at the Reporter-News for 52 years, starting in 1946. He has served as a reporter, wire editor, sports editor, news editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor and editor. After retiring as editor in 1986, he continued writing his popular Sunday column for 12 more years.
Tarpley was born in Arlington and grew up in Weslaco — he attended Edinburg High School. He began his newspaper career, while still in high school, as sports editor of the Edinburg Valley Review in 1937.
After graduating from the University of Texas in 1941, Tarpley worked a year as sports editor at the Wichita Falls Record-News before enlisting in the Army in 1942. He won five campaign stars in Africa and Europe and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Tarpley moved to Abilene after World War II and helped form the Abilene National Guard artillery battalion. He remained with the unit when it became an engineer battalion and served as commander from 1969 to 1971. He graduated with honors from Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and retired as a lieutenant colonel in September 1972 after 30 years of military service.
In 1953 he married Abilene attorney Beverly Potthoff. The couple has two children.
Tarpley was president of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association in 1973 and was first chairman of the Harte-Hanks Editorial Advisory Board in 1977.
(1945 — 2012)
Texas journalist Ann Arnold died Sept. 1. She was 67.
In her 50-year professional career, Arnold was a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the first female press secretary to a Texas governor and the longtime president of the Texas Association of Broadcasters.
A Mississippi native, Arnold spent her early years in Arkansas and moved with her family to Fort Worth in the 1960s. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1968. She worked three jobs to pay her way through college, including a position with the Capitol bureau of the Dallas Times-Herald. She also worked for The Daily Texan, UT’s student newspaper.
After graduating from UT, she joined United Press International’s Capitol bureau and married her high school sweetheart, Reg Arnold. She has two sons.
Arnold went on to work for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1980 and later took a position as press secretary for Texas Gov. Mark White.
When White left office in 1987, she was diagnosed with leukemia and told she had six months to two years to live. She joined an experimental treatment program at UT’s M.D. Anderson facilities in Houston and lived more than 20 years with the disease.
In 2001 Arnold received the James Madison Award from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas for open government efforts.
Texas broadcasters honored her legacy in 2008 by selecting her to be the recipient of the association’s first lifetime achievement award.