Mapmaker Phil Arnold dies at 96

first_imgPhil Arnold definitely left his mark on the Vancouver area.For more than 60 years, Arnold created maps that illustrated the growth of Clark County.Arnold, 96, died Saturday at the Hough neighborhood home he shared with his wife, Helen, for almost 71 years. It was a home that doubled as a business office for Arnold Map Service.For a segment filmed by Seattle’s King TV when Phil Arnold was 85, visit maps were sold downstairs; Arnold’s mapmaking office was upstairs. That’s where he carefully inked every new road, drew every new school and lettered the name of every new street that filled in the county’s cartographic blanks.He did it all by hand, long after most people choose to — or are forced to — call it a career.“He had cataract surgery after his 90th birthday,” Janice Arnold said. “His eyes were so critical.”In addition to his keen eyes, “What was so incredibly amazing was his steady hand. He could draw these tiny things: really amazing,” she said.He is survived by Helen, their sons, Phil Jr. and Dean, and daughter Janice. Phil Jr. and his wife, Kathy, have been operating the business for the past few years and will continue to sell Arnold’s maps.Arnold’s old-school craftsmanship got a nod from Gov. Chris Gregoire a few days after he turned 90 on Oct. 27, 2005. The Arnolds visited her Olympia office, where Gregoire issued a proclamation describing him as “most likely the oldest working cartographer in the world.”last_img read more

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