Daniel Jay Arris peacefully passed on to eternal glory on December 3, 2018 surrounded by his family.
Dan is survived by his four children and nine grandchildren: Kimberly Arris-Potter and Walter Potter (Alex and Maddie), David Arris (Daniel and Mary Katelynn), Todd Arris and Allyson Willoughby (Carter and Lane), and Katy Arris-Wilson and Kevin Wilson (William, Sophie, and Kayla). He is also survived by his sister Peggy Shipley, niece Pam Putman and her husband Rick. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary, dear daughter-in-law Jolene, brother-in-law E.B. Shipley, and two infant siblings.
Dan was born on February 1, 1932 in Frederick, MD to Alexander and Ectal Arris. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1954 with a degree in Business Administration and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He went to Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI were he received his commission in the United States Navy and retired as a Commander in the Naval Reserve. He married the love of his life and his “rock” Mary Siu Mei Wu in 1958. After moving to the Tidewater area, Dan began his career in insurance as President of both Arris Malbon Etheridge, Inc., and Brown Arris Langhorne, Inc. He served on the Travelers Insurance Company National Advisory Council and as President of both the Independent Agents of Virginia Beach and of Virginia.
Dan and Mary raised four children in Virginia Beach, and Dan played an active role in their lives and in the community at large. His goal was to raise good citizens and he led by example. Dan was an active member of Thalia United Methodist Church where he served as Board Chairman, taught Sunday School, and volunteered in the Food Pantry. He coached Little League Baseball for eight years. His civic activities included serving as President of several organizations – the Oceana Lions Club, Thalia Civic League, Sertoma Club, Thalia Elementary PTA, and Board of Directors at Old Dominion Aquatic Club. He also served on both the School Board for Virginia Beach City Public Schools and the Board of Trustees at Virginia Wesleyan College. Dan served as Chairman of the Virginia Beach Planning Commission, Chairman of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and Director Emeritus of the Neptune Festival. Most recently, he served on the Finance Committee and was Chairman of the Resident Council at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community. He enjoyed friendship with members of the Oceana Coffee Club for over 55 years. He was a lifetime hunter. He enjoyed pheasant hunting in Kansas, duck hunting in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, and turkey hunting in Henry County and on the Eastern Shore. He was a sports fanatic and a devoted fan of the New York Yankees.
There will be a Visitation at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community, open to the public, on Monday, December 17 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, 3:00 pm at Thalia United Methodist Church with a reception to follow in the Large Social Hall. Rev. Joe Varner will officiate the service. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dan’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Thalia United Methodist Church. The family would like to thank the medical staff at Sentara Virginia Beach, Sentara Heart Hospital, Cardiovascular Associates, and Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital for their exceptional and compassionate care.