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Arnold "Arnie" Joseph

March 10, 1927 ~ February 11, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Arnold Joseph Obituary

Arnold “Arnie” Joseph, age 96 of Granville, passed away on Sunday, February 11, 2024.  He was born on March 10, 1927, in Saarbrucken, in the Saarland province of Germany.  In 1935, his mother Else took him and his brother Gary to neighboring Luxembourg to escape rising antisemitism, and in 1938 the family moved to New York City.  Arnie grew up in the Bronx, attending the Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades. 

Drafted in 1945, he was enlisted to work as a translator at the Nuremberg trials, where his job was to censor the mail of Nazi officials awaiting trial.  He later wrote and spoke about this experience and what it meant to him as an 18 year old soldier of Jewish origin who had lost family in the Holocaust. 

After his service he studied at the Alliance Francaise in Paris, laying the foundation for his eventual career as a professor of French at Denison University, where he taught from 1963 to 1990 after receiving his PhD from The Ohio State University.  At Denison he made his impact by inspiring his students to love French language, literature and culture, and through his insistence that playfulness and creativity spawn scholarship as much as ‘serious’ research. 

He served as director of Sweet Briar College’s Junior Year Abroad three times between 1968 and 1987, as well as guide and host to countless friends and family in France over many years.  Drawing on his mantra that “the best revenge is living well”, Arnie gleaned joy from a wide variety of past times in Granville and beyond, including biking, cooking, painting, mushroom hunting, and travel.  Another signature joy was his pursuit of “creative sloth”, which he practiced regularly with other disciples at the Village Coffee shop.  Arnie is survived by his brother, Gary Joseph; his sister-in-law, Micky Joseph; his daughters, Theresa and Laura; nephews Daniel and Phillip and many beloved cousins. 

A memorial of his life will be held in the coming months.  Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers can be made to Natural Resources Defense Fund, Doctors without Borders, and Licking County Food Pantry.

McPeek Hoekstra Hoskinson Funeral Home is honored to care for Arnie and his family.  Please visit to share a special memory or leave a message of condolence for the family.

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