Cover photo for William Arrott's Obituary
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1925 William 2021

William Arrott

December 6, 1925 — July 18, 2021

Rev. William Arrott (Bill) was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania on December 6, 1925, to Charles R. Arrott and June Scheffler Arrott.  He passed away Sunday, July 18, in Boca Raton, Florida.

He was a good student, like most of his family, and became the  third generation to attend Princeton University. His studies there were interrupted by World War II, when he, along with most of his classmates, put schooling aside in the service of our country.  Bill enlisted in the Marines.  He later returned to Princeton and received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, thus completing the link of a trained scientific mind with a background strong in liberal arts.  This served him well professionally for the remainder of his life.

After establishing himself as the youngest editor for McGraw Hill (Power Magazine), he moved from New York to Chicago and into Public Relations.   Subsequently, as Senior Vice President of Hill & Knowlton, then the largest Public Relations firm in the world, he created a special niche for himself where he combined his keen scientific understanding with the industrial and promotional know-how necessary to introduce new and unusual products to both industry as well as the general public. For example, he introduced the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging—e.g., three-dimensional anatomical images) and, later, the hyperbaric oxygen chamber—both of which, at that time, were dramatic new developments in the field of medicine.  In the automotive industry, he Introduced the retractable seat belt, which made it feasible to have this life-saving addition installed on ALL future automotive products.

He started his own PR firm in the late 60's and In 1975 he was awarded the coveted Silver Anvil award, a major national award of the Public Relations Society of America.  Arrott guided a public relations program which swept the country in the form of automobile cash rebates after it was initiated by his client the Warner Brake and Clutch Company, Beloit, WI, a supplier to the automotive industry.  This program was regarded by many as having saved the automotive industry from collapse.  Arrott holds an electrical engineering degree from Princeton University, is a member of the IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American medical writers Association and was a founding Trustee and Past-President of the Board of the Midwest College of Engineering.

And, he traveled the world.  He traveled in conjunction with his work, and he traveled for pleasure--he loved to travel, and he traveled at every opportunity.

Despite having had polio as a 1-yr-old that affected his legs and feet, Bill was an excellent ballroom dancer. He even won a jitter-bug contest when he was in the Marines. In later years, however, medical doctors shook their heads and wondered how he ever talked his way into the Marines.

And he loved bridge.  He was an awesome—and very serious duplicate player—but, like most things in his life, he did not make it personal or take it personally.

Bill was probably one of few CSL ministers who have successfully started-from-scratch two CSL churches—the DuPage Church of Religious Science in Oakbrook, IL. in 1980, and, in 1996, he and Elizabeth started the North Shore Center for Spiritual Living in Evanston, IL. They retired in 2011 and moved to Southern Florida, where they affiliated with Ft. Lauderdale CSL as Associate Ministers for a number of years.

He was well known for his keen and quick sense of humor.  Example, whenever someone learned he was a World War II Marine, they often asked, “And where did you serve?”  “I served 10 days in the brig on bread and water,” was the quick reply.  He neglected to add that during those 10 days, he also regularly called out to the guard—“Can we please have some raisins in our bread?”

He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth, son William Arrott Jr (Sue) ;  Brother, Tony, (Patsy, d); Sister Lyde (Jon, d); granddaughters, Christiana (David) and Hailey; grandson William Arrott III, great grandson A. J. (Katie), and great- great-grandson Noah . .   He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.  He is predeceased by his parents and also by grandson William Scott Arrott.

Elizabeth, formerly Elizabeth Karkanen, was a resident of Baraga as a child when she lived with her grandparents, John and Henrikka Karkanen, owners of the Karkanen Dairy which also serviced Houghton and Hancock.

A Celebration of Life service was held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for Bill on August 22.

His interment service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery at 11 a.m. Wednesday, October 27.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Arrott, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

L'Anse Evergreen Cemetery

US Highway 41, L'Anse, MI

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