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Tuesday, February 7, 2017
12:31 - 12:31pm (Eastern time)
James Henry Van Arsdale III, 97, of Castile, passed away peacefully Thursday, February 2, 2017. James was born on January 6, 1920, to James Henry ?Harry? Van Arsdale Jr. of Castile, NY and Jane Valentine Gouinlock of Warsaw, NY.
Jim?s childhood was spent mainly outdoors with his two brothers, William Gouinlock and Charles ?Bud? Lee. Days were spent sailing on Silver Lake, skiing in the Wolf Creek Valley and Letchworth Park, trapping muskrats and neighborhood skunks, and camping and hiking. Jim?s mother taught the boys a love of nature as well as competitive sailing on Silver Lake and identification of local trees and wildflowers.
Jim graduated from high school in Castile in a class of eleven. He then attended Cornell University with his brothers and cousins, John and Barber Conable. After graduating from Cornell in 1941 he served in the Army Field Artillery in World War II from 1941 to 1946. He served in England, North Africa and Italy as Forward Observer, flying in small planes over enemy lines to direct artillery fire in Italy. Jim earned a Silver Star, Croix de Guerre, Air Medal, EAME (European Theater) with five Battle Stars and an American Defense Ribbon.
Jim returned to Castile to work at The Bank of Castile for the next 47 years. The bank was a family business and he worked with his father and brother Bud. Jim eventually became President and Chairman of the Board. While working at the bank, Jim also pursued dairy farming. He purchased Southview Farm in Castile and later, with partner Dick Popp, expanded and modernized.
Jim met the lovely Suzanne Jameson after the War at the Gouinlock cottage on Silver Lake. Sue?s father Norris Jameson was a colleague and friend of Patrick Gouinlock of Warsaw, and the Jamesons were visiting from Buffalo. A lightning courtship ensued and they were married months later. Over the course of a seventy-year marriage, Jim and Sue raised five children and were blessed with twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
All of Jim?s life he was involved in civic and community service. He was an active volunteer fund raiser for many local organizations including the United Way, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, the Castile United Church of Christ, the Castile Youth Hostel, Letchworth Central School?s pool, the Wyoming County Community Hospital expansion, the Community Club and many others. He loved to marshal his children and grandchildren to hand-pick flowers and deliver posies of lilies of the valley around Castile.
Jim has had a life-long affiliation with the Boy Scouts. He achieved Eagle Scout and later became a scout leader. He organized tennis tournaments for many years to benefit scouting activities and was awarded the Silver Beaver for his valued efforts on behalf of the local Boy Scout Council.
Fishing was a lifelong love, from trolling on Silver Lake to week-long retreats in wildest Quebec or Ontario. His love of fishing and canoeing brought him to take each of his children and friends to Ontario Canada?s Algonquin Park. Many young people in Castile have fond memories of ?roughing it? in Algonquin with Jim and Sue.
He loved tennis and played most of his life, right up to the ?Super Seniors? group he helped to organize. He and Sue also watched all the big matches on television and for some years hosted ?Breakfast at Wimbledon? for friends and family. Going to Buffalo Bills, Braves and Sabres games was a great pleasure for Jim, especially when they won! Jim was also a very fine bridge player. He and Sue played for years in a bridge club with their contemporaries in Castile and later taught his two youngest granddaughters to be very astute players themselves.
Jim and Sue loved to travel. During trips to Europe Jim was able to keep up ties with friends met during the War. His closest friend from the war resided in France and sent several of his intrepid children to polish their English with Jim?s family over several summers. Eventually Jim, Sue, various children and grandchildren returned the visits to these family friends in Brittany and Paris, France.
Many trips were also made to visit their children in Boston, New York City, Maine, Virginia, Jamaica, and Ohio. A visit to Jamaica to see Jamie in the Peace Corps morphed into 35 years of winters in that tropical paradise ? first to tennis and golf resorts and later to a cottage in Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth Parish. Many grandchildren learned to swim in their pool and body surfed in the crashing waves. Jim loved to share Jamaica with friends, and a steady stream of visitors would arrive in Treasure Beach while he and Sue were in residence. As a daily routine, Jim and Sue arose every day before the sun and walked to the end of the beach, turning in time to see the sun rise.
Jim was known as an honest, kind, generous, humorous person. He will be greatly missed by his friends and family. Jim left behind his brother Bud; his wife of 70 years, Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale; daughter Ruth Van Arsdale of Maine and her son James ?Jamie? Cox of Florida; daughter Mary Jane Van Arsdale (Marvin) Miller of Virginia and their three daughters, Sarah (Nick) Miller Colombo of St. Louis, Dinah of New York City, and Julia of Chicago; son James ?Jamie? Van Arsdale IV (Margaret) of Castile, and his daughter Abigail (Dan) DeBolt of Livonia and her daughters Ellie and Audrey, his daughter Emily (Rob) Derin of New Jersey and her sons Charlie and John, his sons Mike of Castile and Steve of Germany; daughter Katrina Gouinlock Drouhard of Castile and her son Ben (Hannah) and daughter Beth; son Peter and his daughters Suzanne and Jeanette.
Friends may call Thursday, February 16 from 4 ? 8 PM at the Harmon-Watson Funeral Home, 35 N. Main St., Castile, NY. Jim?s memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 18 at 1 PM at the Castile United Church of Christ (cor. Washington & N. Main Sts.). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Castile United Church of Christ, PO Box 512, Castile, NY 14427 or HomeCare & Hospice, 450 N. Main St., Warsaw, NY 14569.
February 7, 2017 : Memorial service for James Henry Van Arsdale III at the Castile United Church of Christ - 12:31 PM