Hobbies and accomplishments
A Yankees fan to the end, Arkie loved baseball like the true American he was. An Italian by blood, food also played a significant role in his life. He was a restaurateur for years, buying Tobin's Restaurant in Fairmount, then Gruen's Restaurant in Syracuse. Later, he opened a second Gruen's in Manlius.
He worked as manager of the Skaneateles, LaFayette and Cavalry country clubs as well as Stonecrest Supper Club, and also shared ownership of Hullar's in Fayetteville.
"I had the pleasure to assist him when large meal functions were to be prepared," said Vince Giordano, owner of Sno Top Ice Cream. "I learned a lot from him." Giordano said they would always share a glass of wine -- just one -- whenever they cooked.
A Navy veteran, Arkie was a social person by nature, and loved to give back to his community. He was a volunteer firefighter, and a member of the Manlius Lions Club, and also served as chairman of the Town of Manlius Republican Committee for years.
As mayor, he helped preserve green space at Mill Run Park; he helped purchase the empty Manlius Elementary School, now the Manlius Village Centre; he oversaw the consolidation of the three village police departments in 1985; and birthed Liberty Square after moving Manlius landmark Arley's Hotel across the street from its original location -- a move that began a positive change for Main Street.
"Arkie placed quality of life at the front for all village residents more than any other elected official," Giordano said.
Arkie as a family man
While the Manlius community knew Arkie as its mayor, his family knew him on the most intimate level: as dad, husband, grandpa and friend.
"Caring, loving, family oriented [and] big on tradition," Cunningham said of her father. "He was definitely a family man."