William Arthur, a mentor to me, passed away on December 1st 2015.
Here is a snippet from a long note I sent his daughter:
"Your father took my dad and me on a tour of Duke University in 1997. As a mostly typical teenager I was partially engaged, sometimes aloof; nonetheless, I still remember how much he loved the school. We ran into Shane Battier on the quad and your dad just pulled up like he knew him and exchanged pleasantries. And then he says: "that guy is presidential material, they say." Later on, my dad took us all to visit Ward Setzer (the well-known naval architect based nearby). Fair enough my dad wanted to and was lucky enough to get in to see a yacht legend while he was in town (a rarity); but about 20 minutes into the meeting- your dad goes "T, you remember this is Jason's trip, don't you?" There was plenty more to do and see back on campus."
Here is the obituary from the NY Times:
William ("Bill") Robert Arthur passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He was 82 years old. Bill was born on July 27, 1933 in Ironton, OH and was raised in Ft. Thomas, KY. He was the only child of Daisy and Robert D. Arthur. He graduated from Highlands High School in 1951 where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He graduated from Duke University in 1955 with a degree in economics. While at Duke he was on a ROTC scholarship and was an active member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon ("SAE") Fraternity. Upon graduating from Duke, he served in the military in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps. After his military service, Bill had a long and distinguished career with Merrill Lynch, Inc. lasting over 30 years. Starting as a stockbroker in Washington DC, he earned promotions into management (Columbus, OH and NYC) and ultimately achieved the position of Chairman of Merrill Lynch International. As Chairman of Merrill Lynch International, Bill traveled extensively and played a strong leadership role in Merrill's worldwide growth and expansion, especially in Southeast Asia and China. During this time Bill and his family resided in Summit, NJ and subsequently relocated to Hong Kong for five years. In 1989, Bill retired to the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, NC and in 2006, he relocated to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Bill was a passionate golfer and was an active member of the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. He loved to travel with his family and go on golfing trips with good friends. He especially loved playing Pebble Beach in California. He was a big fan of Duke University's Football and Basketball teams as well as the Washington Redskins team. He loved art and a variety of great music-- especially Emmy Lou Harris and Jazz. He was a history buff and an avid reader. He was incredibly well read and current on international and domestic affairs and business. His mind was sharp and curious, and his heart was generous. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family. He is predeceased by his former wife, Marilyn Mayberry Arthur, who passed away on November 11, 2014. He is survived by his daughter, Alice Lorraine-Lori (Tom Stroud), his son, David (Jennifer Mee Arthur) and his only grandchild, Edward William Arthur-Ted. Contributions in Bill Arthur's memory may be made to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2001 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27705, 919-668-4063. https://www.gifts.duke.edu/nasher_gift -
Uncle Bill, the honorific as I knew him, had that timeless combination of being both as sophisticated as he was plain and simple. I will miss him.
Here are some photos from the archives, depicting Uncle Bill at his best form: improbably diplomatic and genuine, sincere yet invariably charming.