Cover photo for Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale's Obituary
Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale Profile Photo

Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale

June 5, 1923 — February 20, 2022

Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale

Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale finished this phase of her existence on February 20, 2022. She was 98 years old. We mourn her passing but were so fortunate to enjoy her company and wisdom for so long. Matriarch of a large family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, she set a high standard for home and family. Her capability, energy, subtle wit and uncomplaining spirit are examples we all hope to emulate.

Suzanne was born June 5, 1923 in Buffalo, New York to Ruth Louise Pellman and Norris Morey Jameson. She attended Elmwood School, the Buffalo Seminary and graduated Cornell University in 1944 with a Home Economics degree.

While visiting a Cornell friend of her father, Pat Gouinlock, at Silver Lake, NY, she met Jim Van Arsdale. After a whirlwind romance, they settled in Castile, NY, Jim's home town, where they shared 70 years of marriage. When the family grew from 3 children to 5, a larger home was needed. As Jim worked at the Bank of Castile, Sue refurbished the new old house, room by room: wallpaper, woodwork, floor. Her unique rehabilitation of the antique home was such a success it was featured in the Buffalo Evening News.

While Sue was raising their five children, she also was involved with Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, the Castile Youth Hostel, the Wyoming County Arts Council, Gala Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and tennis and bridge groups. At home she was adventurous in culinary arts. She made root beer in the summer as well as dandelion wine and elderberry blow (a sweet elderberry flower wine). She was a notable seamstress and knitter, and she quilted beautiful and intricate bed coverings for her children and grandchildren. She refinished and reupholstered furniture and caned chair seats. She filled the house with interesting heirlooms and antiquities and learned how to use them. She loved her flower gardens and kept a large garden for cutting flowers for arrangements. She taught herself how to dry wild and cultivated flowers and created massive Williamsburg-style arrangements.

Sue was blessed with 12 grandchildren whom she treasured. She spent many happy hours sharing her knowledge of horsemanship, quilt-making, doll-making, sewing, cooking and gardening, as well as how to play bridge and rewire an electric lamp. Sue was always welcoming to all friends (from all over the world) and pets her children or grandchildren dragged home, and she loved to feed them!

After the children had grown, Jim and Sue were free to enjoy travel: visiting friends and relatives around the United States and jaunting to Europe, Philippines, Africa, Brittany and Jamaica.

Sue Van Arsdale was a fine example of a multi-faceted woman of the Greatest Generation, deftly running a large and active household, feeding, clothing, comforting and mentoring her brood. She and Jim provided a rich and joyful environment for growing-up.

Sue is survived by five children: Ruth, Mary Jane (Marvin Miller), James/Jamie (Margaret), Katrina Drouhard and Peter. Twelve grandchildren survived her: James/Jamie Cox, Sarah Van Arsdale (Nick Colombo), Dinah Miller and Julia Miller, Abigail DeBolt (Dan), Emily Van Arsdale (Rob Derin ), Michael Van Arsdale and Steve Van Arsdale, Benjamin Drouhard (Hannah) and Beth Drouhard Leipler, Suzanne Marie Van Arsdale and Jeanette Van Arsdale. There are six great-grandchildren: Ellie and Audrey DeBolt, Charlie and John Derin, Oscar Colombo, and Dominic Leipler.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to Katrina Van Arsdale Drouhard, who lived with Sue and Jim for 8 years, enabling them to age comfortably in the home they knew. Katrina efficiently ran the household and managed moves to Silver Lake and Jamaica and back yearly. She has been a sympathetic, observant, cheerful, compassionate and affectionate care giver to both of her parents. She was aided by an army of able assistants over the years: Brenda Whitmore, Ashlee Paulsen, Leslie Paulsen, Hannah DeGolyer Drouhard, Pemba Harder, Heidi Hoch, Marilyn Zasowski and Angie Stevenson. At the close of Sue’s life, Homecare & Hospice provided thoughtful and skilled care. Thank you all.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 2, 2022 at the Castile United Church of Christ on the corner of Washington & Main Sts., Castile. Burial will take place in Maple Grove Cemetery, Gainesville. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to: Homecare and Hospice, 563 West Main St, Arcade NY 14009, homecare-hospice.org, or The Arts Council for Wyoming County, PO Box 249, Perry, NY 14530. info@artswyco.org

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Suzanne Jameson Van Arsdale, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Castile United Church of Christ

NY 00000

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Burial

Maple Grove Cemetery, Gainesville

NY 00000

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