James Edward Arundell (1941-2022)

James Edward Arundell (1941-2022)

James Edward Arundell, 80, passed away peacefully on July 14th surrounded by family in the home he built in Fillmore, California. Jim was born in Oxnard on October 20, 1941, to Glenn and Jane Arundell. He graduated from Fillmore High School in 1959, attended Ventura College, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Upon returning to Fillmore, Jim was married to Diane Southwick on August 5, 1967, in the Fillmore Presbyterian Church. Jim and Diane were both lifelong residents of Fillmore and were married just shy of 55 years. They both earned their teaching credentials and taught side-by-side for 30 years.
Jim was a standout football, basketball, and baseball player at Fillmore High School and was later inducted into the Fillmore High School Sports Hall of Fame. He garnered the nickname “Thumper,” for his quickness and big feet. After a season of football at Ventura College, Jim enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving as an aircraft avionics technician in Jacksonville, Florida and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Upon discharge from active duty, he worked as a surveyor while earning his teaching credential from California State Northridge. After earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education, he landed a job as a teacher at Piru Elementary School where he taught 5th grade in the same storied classroom for over 30 years. Jim also served as the school’s drama teacher, directing performances of several highly anticipated school plays that were loved by the faculty, parents, and students. During his early years of teaching, he coached Fillmore High girls basketball and assistant coached Fillmore High boys baseball and basketball. Upon starting a school farm at Piru School, Jim was recognized and featured in an interview by KNBC LA local news for being a leader in innovation, dedicated to keeping kids outdoors and teaching them about agriculture, gardening, and caring for livestock. After retiring in 2002, Jim became a full-time grandfather, rancher, mentor, coach, and Dodger fan who could always be found riding a tractor in the sunshine through his avocado orchards in Fillmore.
Jim will be remembered as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, teacher and coach. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Diane; daughter Jamie and son-in-law, Leroy; daughter Julie and son-in-law, Ian; sister Judy and brother-in-law, Mike; brother Oz and sister-in-law, Barb; sister-in-law Barbara; brother-in-law Gary and sister-in-law, Susan; grandchildren Nohelani, James, Leah, Jackson, and Julianne; his nieces and nephews and great-grandchildren. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Jane; stepmother, Ellen; and his brother, John.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Jim’s life on Friday, August 12, at 10:00 am at the Bardsdale Cemetery, located at 698 S. Sespe St in Fillmore. A “Celebration of Life” reception will follow at Jamie & Leroy’s residence at 1520 Oak Ave in Fillmore.