Obituaries

Posted June 21, 2007

Patricia Arnold

Patricia Arnold of Flagler Beach, Fla. and Gordonsville, Va., died on February 18. Ms. Arnold spent summers in Vineyard Haven for many years.

A pioneer in the field of women's aviation, she began flying in 1948 and was the first woman in the world to own a helicopter. Pat was a flight instructor, a corporate pilot, and an airport manager. She was one of 20 women asked to take the first astronaut physical examination.

In 1957, Pat became the first person in Connecticut to broadcast air traffic advisories (WKNB) from an airplane. In 1966, she organized the National Women's Pylon Racing Association to open up closed-course airplane racing to women. She participated in many air races and won first price in more than one-third of them.

Her accomplishments in aviation are recorded in the Library of the National Air Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The International Women's Air and Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, will house Pat's personal, aeronautical memorabilia, including her numerous trophies.

In addition to her efforts on behalf of women in aviation, Pat was very active in the burgeoning women's movement of the late 1960s. In 1970, she co-founded the Central Conn. Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the first such chapter in the state.

Pat Arnold was a remarkable woman. A trailblazer and always on the go, she lived an adventurous life and was never dissuaded from doing exactly what she wanted to do, whether that be air racing, deep sea fishing, or motoring across the country.

She was a wonderful storyteller with many wonderful stories to tell. Add to that her offbeat sense of humor, and she could keep you enthralled and entertained for hours.

Her many relatives and friends across the country will miss her.

Col. Robert B. Stewart

There will be a graveside memorial service for Col. Robert B. Stewart, USAF, on Saturday, June 23. It will be held at 11 am at the Lambert's Cove cemetery on Lambert's Cove Road. Col. Stewart died on December 21.

Clara S. Claiborne

Clara S. Claiborne, 85, of Sarasota, Fla., died on June 6, at Tidewell Hospice and Palliative Care House in Sarasota.

Funeral services were held in Sarasota on June 12. A graveside service will take place at the Oak Grove Cemetery on Pacific Avenue in Oak Bluffs on Thursday, June 28, at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The United Negro College Fund, Florida A & M University Foundation, Tallahassee, FL 32307, or to ASALH Scholarship Fund, Manasota Branch, P.O. Box 2356, Sarasota, FL 34230. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Times.