Joan (Williams) Arnold was born in Augusta, Maine on January 1, 1932. Her parents were Marie (Simpson), a housewife and Joseph P. Williams, a contractor. Joan’s childhood was fairly political, her father being an active Democrat in the Augusta area. After graduating from Cony High School, Joan went on to LaSalle Junior College in Newton, Massachusetts, graduating in
1951. She worked for General Motors as a secretary for a few years, and then found herself back in Augusta in 1954 as a secretary in Governor Ed Muskie’s office. She left the Capitol in 1957 when she married Bill Arnold and moved to Waterville. She filled in occasionally in Muskie’s Waterville Senate offices when he became Senator. She returned to Augusta in the early 1980s as a legislative staffer before retiring.
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Burnham-Bestor, Marisa, "Arnold, Joan oral history interview" (1998). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 12.