Arthur McKinley Reynolds, Sr., born on November 5, 1929 in Cincinnati, Ohio, departed this life on Sunday, October 24, 2021. He was the second of two children born to proud parents, William and Cora Lee Middleton Reynolds. Arthur was young when the family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. He was only eleven years of age when his mother passed away. His mother’s only sister, Ann, with her husband, offered to help raise Arthur and his sister, Ruth, in Washington D.C. Their widowed father later remarried and from that union their younger sister, Sandra, was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Arthur attended Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, D.C. He received a bachelor of arts in Business Administration from Howard University (1952); a master’s degree in Business Administration from American University (1956); and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University (1959), all located in Washington, D.C. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Arthur served his country in the Air Force from June, 1952 to 1954, receiving an honorable discharge at the end of his tour of duty at rank of First Lieutenant.
While attending law school, Arthur also studied to take the Certified Public Accountants examination in Maryland and successfully passed in 1958, becoming one of the first 50 black certified public accountants in the United States and the third in the state of Maryland. He and his friend, Benjamin King, Sr., opened the accounting firm of King and Reynolds, based in Baltimore, Maryland, with clients in Maryland and District of Columbia. He practiced both accounting and law until the Bar Association determined that CPAs were no longer entitled to the attorney-client privilege. He thereafter focused on his practice as an attorney, initially with the law office of Lawson & Reynolds. This was the first black law firm to have offices in downtown Washington, DC. He worked with and was mentored by such great lawyers as Belford Lawson and Curtis Mitchell. After establishing a law firm with Kenneth Mundy, he focused his practice on civil matters. The grandson of an AME Minister, Arthur became general counsel for the AME Church and the Gospel Spreading Church.
Arthur, having been inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of his father, also engaged in real estate development and was a co-owner of a McDonald’s Restaurant in the early 1970s. He was appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia as Co-Bond Counsel and Chairman of the D.C. Retirement Board, which had total responsibility for investing all of the funds set aside for retirement of all District firefighters, policemen and teachers. He was also appointed Board Member of the University of the District of Columbia. One of Arthur’s major development projects was that of Mayfair Mansions Apartments, a 569-unit garden apartment development in northeast D.C. This development was one of the most successful low income, tax-credit developments in the District of Columbia.
Arthur was married and divorced four times and had two sons, Arthur (Butch) Reynolds, Jr. and Brian Reynolds. Brian predeceased him in 2020. He was blessed by a loving relationship with Theresa Claytor, who predeceased him.
Arthur was well-traveled, well-read and well-loved. He enjoyed hosting family and friends and sharing his wealth of memories and words of wisdom which had been passed down to him. In later years, he and his sister, Ruth, spoke daily and (in his words) ‘tried to solve the problems of the world.’ Arthur was always ready to help others to ‘spread their wings’ and ‘fly to higher heights.’
Arthur is survived by his son, Arthur M. Reynolds, Jr; sisters, Ruth Reynolds Khelseau and Sandra Reynolds Brown; niece, Rebecca Carsky-Stephenson (Brian); nephews, Gilbert Spears (Darcel) and Roderick Brown; grandniece, Jasmine Carsky; grand nephews, Amado Carsky, Julien Arthur Carsky and Brandon Spears; a special friend/daughter of 52 years, Paula Singleton; and many godchildren, friends and extended family.
When he knew that his days with us were short, he reminded us that ‘I had a good life’, ‘I don’t care what you do you cannot make as much money as money can make for you, if you learn how to make money’ and ‘I did it my way’.
Donations can be made in memory of Arthur M. Reynolds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105