Obituary of Arthur E. Bostwick
The world lost one of the good guys on July 5, 2020, with the passing of Art Bostwick, a man whose life enriched the lives of those who knew him. Art endeared himself to others with his big heart, his comfort level with just being himself at all times, and his many interests. Art was born in Rochester, NY, on October 21, 1955, the son of Rolison and Dorothy Bostwick. He had a sister, Deborah Jean, who died in infancy in 1952. Art was the apple of his parents' eyes until he had to share their attention upon the birth of his sister, Valerie. Some say he never got over it, but, if truth be told, Art soon realized that having a little sister wasn't so bad after all. He adored her, and they shared a loving,unbreakable bond for the rest of his life. Art spent his childhood in Irondequoit, New York, and he graduated from Eastridge High School. It was at Eastridge that Art developed lifelong friendships and a lifelong love of learning. He acquired a reputation as a smart student who was quite the prankster. “Mischief” was his middle name. In an ironic twist, Art went on to study criminal justice in college. After spending a few years in Maryland, Art returned to the Rochester area. It was at this time that Art reconnected with one of his good friends from childhood, and it soon became apparent that this good friend, Mary Bartholomay, was to be his lifelong match. Mary and Art were married on May 28, 1993, at St. Salome Church in Irondequoit. After living in Williamson for a year, Art and Mary moved to Irondequoit where they cared for Mary's mother, Helen. Art and Helen broke the mother-in-law/son-in-law stereotype and developed a very special bond. Art was attentive to Helen's needs and while both Helen and Art enjoyed teasing each other, their mutual love and respect was always apparent. Art remained in the Rochester area for the rest of his life, holding positions in a security capacity at Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, Eastman Kodak Company, and the City of Rochester, retiring from the Rochester Public Library. Rumor has it that, on several occasions, Art did not use his “inside voice” while on duty at the library, resulting in what Art called “stern glances” from the librarians. Art's retirement years allowed him to finally rest and relax and do the things he loved most. He spent time in his lovingly-constructed man cave in the garage which was equipped with all the comforts of home: newspapers and books, a personal refrigerator stocked with his favorite snacks and beverages, cable TV always tuned to the History Channel or a Buffalo Sabres hockey game, and a big jar of dog biscuits for all of the neighborhood dogs who were always welcome. Learning more about history and world events were two of Art's favorite pastimes. He was known to run the history categories on Jeopardy in friendly family competition. He would “bet it all” on the final Jeopardy question when anything history related was the topic. Unfortunately for his competition, he was always right. From the vantage point of the man cave Art was able to keep a watchful eye on the neighborhood, making sure that everything was okay. Art delighted in taking many day trips with Mary, perhaps driving to Pennsylvania for fried chicken or to Syracuse if Mary fancied some of her favorite caramel corn. This good-hearted husband even enjoyed chauffeuring Mary up and down the East Coast to attend Bruce Springsteen concerts. As it turned out, Mary was darned good at getting tickets, and while Art joined her for the first three or four concerts, when numbers got into double digits, he chose to pass the time comfortably at a nearby watering hole. Art valued loyalty, putting family and friends first. Art's manner was steady and calm, always guided by common sense. Those who were fortunate enough to know Art might describe him as having been smart, funny, and loud. Although Art was gregarious and outgoing, he also had a side that needed and enjoyed quiet. He had an abiding faith in God, a deep sense of patriotism, and an appreciation for the simple things in life: a cold beer on a hot day, his mother's macaroni and cheese, a good joke, and working a crossword puzzle. Art took pride in being a master of organization. His files were impeccably organized and color-coded. His checkbooks and bank statements were kept accurate to the penny. One day, in an organizational frenzy, Art took it upon himself to organize the pantry by alphabetizing all the items. He thought that Mary would be both pleasantly surprised and grateful for his help. She was neither. Art sought enjoyment with nature, music, and animals. Art found inner peace in what he called “looking for green,” whether it was by walking in the woods or by feeding the ducks at the bay, whom he affectionately called “his other family.” He enjoyed music of all kinds, especially rock, country, and jazz. He had a beautiful singing voice and loved to sing along with songs on the car radio while keeping the beat by slapping the steering wheel. He elicited some strange looks from motorists next to him, but he did manage to receive a few “thumbs up”--at least he thought they were thumbs. Art never met an animal that he didn't like, but he was especially fond of dogs. He wanted to take credit for training his two dogs, Mac and Lucy, but, in truth, it was they who trained him. Unquestionably, family was always first and foremost in Art's heart. Art relished getting together with the whole family for any occasion. Always the life of the party, and occasionally being the party, he made everyone feel welcome and kept everybody laughing. He was grateful for all the time he spent with his sister Valerie and her husband Lou and watching his nephews, Kevin and Mike, grow into fine young men. Art shared many a good story and countless hearty laughs with his in-laws: Bill and Patty; Lou and Paula and their children, Mike and his wife Kate along with their daughters, Bridget and Jenny; Michelle and her wife Deb; and Bill and Ellen and their daughter Abbie; and the entire Messenger clan. Art especially cherished the time he spent with his son Damian, whether it was playing miniature golf, having family fun night playing games at the kitchen table when Damian was young, or, in later years, having long conversations about life. Laughter echoed through the man cave whenever the two of them were together. Art was immensely proud of Damian’s many accomplishments in school and in his career, but what touched his heart most was witnessing Damian become the remarkable man that he is today. Art's wife Mary was the light of his life. Together they built and shared a simple, comfortable life together, enjoying each other's company and making each other happy. Mary and Damian were Art's greatest joys. Art's presence will continue to be felt by those who knew him. In our sadness we might turn to this quotation by St. John Chrysostom for consolation: Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are. Art is survived by his beloved wife Mary (Bartholomay) Bostwick, cherished son Damian Paul Bostwick, devoted sister Valerie (Luis) Rodriguez, nephews Kevin and Michael Rodriguez and great niece Gabrielle Rodriguez and many loving family members and friends: Louis (Paula) Bartholomay; William J (Patricia) Bartholomay; Michael (Kate) Bartholomay; Michelle (Deb) Staron; William (Ellen Uveino) Bartholomay; great nieces Bridget, Jenny, and Abbie Bartholomay; Robert (Dawn) Messenger and children Joshua, Zachary, Aidan, and Tori; dear friends Kristin Still, Wes and Marie Converse, Don and Helene Coon, Mike and Sue Costello, Sally and Bruce Randall, Anne and Scott Hetherington, Bruce Claus, and Sister Livia Ruocco RSM. The family would like to thank Art’s home health care nurse, Amanda Cross RN for her loving, sassy, and compassionate care. Because of COVID 19 restrictions, a private service will be held at the convenience of the family. A joyful celebration of Art’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers those wishing to make a contribution in memory of Art may consider the following organizations which were dear to his heart: Lollypop Farm, 99 Victor Rd., Fairport, NY 14450; Lipson Cancer Center, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621; St. Ann’s Community FOUNDATION Department, 1500 Portland Ave, Rochester, NY 14621; House of Mercy, 285 Ormond Street, Rochester, NY 14605.