James Larry Arriola
James Larry Arriola
  • October 19, 1943 - December 20, 2017
  • Haslet, Texas

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James (Jim) Larry Arriola was born in Nacogdoches Texas on October 19, 1943 to Tony and Mary Arriola. He was the fourth of seven children. He lived his life on his own terms… and on Wednesday, December 20th, passed on to Heaven while asleep in his own bed, just as he had wished.

Jim grew up in a family that was poor financially but rich with tenacity. He graduated high school at 16 and left home moving to Houston determined to make a name and place for himself in life. He started his career with Globe Discount Stores working his way up from a stock boy to Store Manager. He mentioned once that when he started his career there all he wanted was to hear his name called over the loudspeaker when someone needed the store manager. As any store manager can attest, once he got that privilege, all he wished for was to not hear his name called over that loud speaker… Jim continued his retail career with JC Penny and then joined the manufacturing side with Kenner Toys which his youngest children were very pleased with as birthdays and Christmas were great days when your Dad is a toy salesman! In the mid 80’s Jim left corporate life and once again set out on his own as an independent manufacturer’s representative. He achieved great success largely because he loved the challenge of knowing the products he was representing well, treating his customers fairly, and earning a fair dollar through the process.

Jim had a passion for classic cars that might exceed that of Jay Leno although the sizes of his barn and car collection were a bit more modest. He could point out the differences of model years by a simple change of a chrome strip or the shape of a light. He could tell you stories about who designed them and what made that make or model significant for its time. He loved to attend car shows or auctions. He would travel for hours to attend an auction never planning to buy a car but just to look at them and see what they were selling for. He cherished the relationships with the guys he met at those shows, many of whom became close friends over the years.

Jim’s love for his children and grandchildren was abundant. They were the joy and later, the motivation for his life. While not a perfect man, he gave everything within him to ensure his family was safe and well taken care of. Jim served his children as a best friend, disciplinarian, mentor, and life coach. He taught the lessons associated with the value of hard work, doing the right thing and treating people the way you wanted to be treated in return. He pushed his children and those around him to have high expectations of themselves as they would have to be willing to work for the things they wanted in life. He taught the value of friendship and what it meant to be a true friend vs. an acquaintance.

His big smile was loved dearly by those who knew him best. He will be missed...

Jim is survived by the love of his life, Rosetta Ulrich, daughter Nicole Arriola Cadora, son, Bret Arriola, Stepchildren Shari Nixon and Shawn Ulrich, 7 grandchildren, Alexandra, April, Charlotte, Michael, Wyatt, Brady and Brenna, brothers Ray, Frank, and Bobby Arriola, 3 great grandchildren, Bear, Sailee, and Trayton, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his sons, Brad and Jim Arriola.

Please email Bret at BretArriola@gmail.com for information on the celebration of Jim’s life.

As expressions of sympathy, the family would appreciate donations to be made honor of Jim to the North Texas Food Bank or the American Heart Association.