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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Lewis Arnett (1935-2008)

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Thomas Lewis Arnett
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Born at Winnipeg on 10 May 1935, son of Thomas Lewis Arnett (1904-1985) and Caroline Watling (1910-1988), grandson of Thomas Lewis Arnett, he attended university in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and lived, at various times, in Saskatoon, Nova Scotia, Montreal, Toronto, Cookstown (Ontario), and Victoria Harbour (Ontario). He married Janet Brown in 1962.

He wrote novels, short stories, poetry, plays, dinner theatre, revues, radio dramas, newspaper and magazine articles, training manuals, promotional brochures, newsletters, educational films, and local histories. He had thirteen books published, some written under the pseudonyms Don Pendleton or Dick Stivers. His novel Death Games was the first action-adventure novel to make the New York Times bestseller list. Many of his novels were translated and sold internationally.


  • The Last Book of the Last Prophet, Poetry Toronto, 1976
  • The Ice Industry at Bell Ewart, Innisfil Historical Society, 1982
  • Five Rings of Fire, Gold Eagle, 1984
  • Deathbites, Gold Eagle, 1984
  • Death Games, Gold Eagle, 1985
  • The World War III Game, Gold Eagle, 1986
  • Blood Gambit, Gold Eagle, 1986
  • The Iron God, Gold Eagle, 1986
  • Firecross, Gold Eagle, 1987
  • Death Ride, Gold Eagle, 1987
  • Hell’s Gate, Gold Eagle, 1986
  • With Love, Dale Pinnock, Shagnasti, 1988
  • People Helping People, Innisfil Credit Union, 1994

He prepared Home and Homestead, a photographic inventory of the historic buildings of rural Simcoe County. He wrote the popular radio series “Sounds Like Music”, a radio series for the CBC celebrating Canadian authors, was the editor of the East End Express, a Toronto newspaper, taught courses in creative writing at several colleges and high schools, and created and taught the correspondence course The Novel Tutor.

An international chess champion with many awards and trophies, he was president of the Huronia Chess Club. He was interested in local history, being the founder of the Innisfil Historical Document Centre, and serving as president of the Innisfil Historical Society. He received an award for volunteerism from the Ontario government and was recognized by the Township of Innisfil for his work as a volunteer.

He died at Penetanguishene, Ontario on 18 October 2008.


Obituary [Thomas Lewis Arnett], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 March 1985, page 35.

Obituary [Caroline Arnett], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 1988, page 63.

Thomas Lewis Arnett, PartingWishes.

We thank Janet Arnett, widow of Tom Arnett, for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 November 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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