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HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. -- Max Arnold, who built a thriving jobber network and a chain of 25 convenience stores, died on May 28 at his home in Hopkinsville, Ky., following a battle with cancer. He was 76.
Arnold was founder and chairman of the board of Max Arnold & Sons and Max Fuel convenience stores. He began working in the convenience store and petroleum industry in Auburn, Ky., in 1951 where he owned and operated a Standard Oil service station. In 1966, he moved to Hopkinsville and became a Standard Oil commissioned agent for Logan, Todd and Christian counties.
By 1979, he expanded jobber operations to five additional counties and quickly became one of the largest jobbers in Kentucky. In 1982, he acquired the jobbership of Caldwell and Trigg counties, making Max Arnold & Sons LLC one of the largest jobber operations in Kentucky. In the 1990s Max Arnold & Sons acquired the Shell, Amoco, Phillips 66, Sunoco Racing Fuels and Ashland Oil jobberships.
Arnold was also active on the legislative side of the business. He was a member and past president of the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association, past president of the Chevron Petroleum marketers Association and was a member of a number of civic organizations.
A native of Normandy, Tenn., he was born Sept. 20, 1925, the son of the late Jay and Annie Arnold. He attended the University of Tennessee on a football scholarship, then left to serve in the Army during World War II. After his military service he attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Emogene Arnold; three sons, Max G. Arnold, of New Orleans; Randy Arnold and Bob Arnold, both of Hopkinsville; a daughter, Mary Ann Russo, of Madisonville, Ky.; a brother, H. Ross Arnold, of Nolensville, Tenn.; two sisters, Laurine Thurmond, of Hopkinsville, Marjorie F. Higgins, of Lynn Haven, Fla.; and six grandchildren.
A brother, Sherlock Arnold, and a sister, Anne Rich, died earlier.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Hopkinsville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pennyroyal Hospice or to the First United Methodist Church.