James Arnold, retired social worker

OBITS-ArnoldJamesJames Neil Arnold, 70, of Fulton, died April 15, 2013 at Oswego Hospital following complications from multiple strokes.

He was born April 7, 1943 to Liberty and Irene (Wilcox) Arnold in West Point, N.Y. He attended Fulton schools and graduated from Fulton High School in 1960.

He participated in 4-H and Future Farmers of America and spent many summers at the Sandy Creek Fair and Camp Wabasso near Watertown.

He attended SUNY Morrisville and later transferred to Cornell University. After graduating Cornell, he worked briefly at Kodak in RochesterY then drove to Alaska in 1968.  He found work at a children’s center there, which sparked his lifelong interest in social work.

He met his wife in Alaska, married, and then earned his master’s degree in social work at the University of Nebraska. After returning to Alaska, he worked for 14 years in mental health centers in Anchorage and Wasilla.

In 1984, he and his family returned to Fulton, where he was employed by the Oswego County Mental Health Center, the Oswego County Correctional Facility, and Farnham, Inc.

In 2008, he retired from the mental health unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, capping a 36-year career in the field of family counseling as a psychiatric social worker.

He was pre-deceased by his parents and infant daughter, Meadow.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Levan; daughters, Autumn (John Kelley) Arnold of Madison, Wisc. and Prairie (Jeffrey) Wessel of Baldwinsville; brothers, Jack (Virginia) Arnold of Fulton and Duane (Roxanne) Arnold of Fulton; sister, Christine (Dale) Dix of Fulton; aunt, Nancy (Wilcox) Hawthorne of Fulton; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, April 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Battle Island, State Route 48, Fulton. Burial will be held privately.

Contributions may be made to Friends of Great Bear c/o Fulton Family YMCA 715 W. Broadway, Fulton, NY 13069.

Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton has care of the arrangements.

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