Arnold, Tracey R.

1/1/1988

1931-1988
 
If Tracy were telling us what to write in this piece, he would say, “Tell them about Sue and the kids.” And that would most assuredly include the six grandchildren.
Tracy and Sue met while they were at Centenary and were married June 12, 1953. They have two children, Mark and Shelley. Mark is married to Deborah Ortega and they have three children, Matt, Nick, and Pat. Shelley is married to Darron King and their children are Suzanne, Sharrah, and Will.
Ever at the Center of his life was his family. In one of their favorite sermons, Tracy said “Every ‘me’ needs a ‘we,’ because life only comes alive for us in a world of persons who com-municate toward understanding, who stand against the darkness together; who suffer together, who play and laugh together, who sing and pray together, who grow old together!”
Tracy and Sue shared in all of those things, except the latter. They never got to grow old together. But, then, we think of Tracy as perennially young, anyway. With Sue it goes without saying.
Born in Haynesville, Louisiana, on September 26, 1931, he learned early on how to put down roots. His mother, Myrtle, still lives there. It should be no surprise that Tracy preferred long pastorates. He was in his ninth year at First Church, Alexandria, when he died.
His other pastorates were as Associate at Arlington Heights, Fort Worth, while in Semi-nary at Perkins, Trinity and St. Luke’ s in Shreveport, Abbeville-Pecan Island, First-Crowley, and First-Minden.
Tracy led our Conference delegation to the 1988 General and Jurisdictional Conferences, was a member of the General Council on Ministries, and served on the Episcopal Committee of the South Central Jurisdiction. He was a delegate to the 1984 General and Jurisdictional Conferences.
Serving ably on a number of Conference Boards, Tracy particularly distinguished himself as Registrar of the Board of Ordained Ministry and Chair of the Board of Pensions. He was also Chair of the Committee on Open Itineracy.
It will take a different volume to illustrate his wonderful sense of humor, matching laugh-ter, and zest for the unexpected. There are people in Louisiana who would not dream of hunting or fishing anywhere in this hemisphere without him. Indeed, he breathed his last in a duck blind and he will be forever present around those campfires.
“The Art of Becoming, the Bible calls a Journey,” he said in one of his sermons. It seems poetic now that Tracy preached last year’s Service honoring our Retiring Ministers. His Journey has taken him to that place of Ultimate Retirement that is New Beginning.
A favorite theologian we share, Paul Tillich, has said, “The value of a human life does not consist in its length, but in its substance and message.” Tracy, he’s right again.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1989, p.180 By John Winn and Carole Cotton-Winn