James Michael Arthur, 70, of Albany passed away on Thursday, July 7, 2022, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at the chapel of Mathews Funeral Home, on Friday, July 15, 2022, at 11:00 am. Pastor Calvin King will lead the celebration with storytelling by friends Tom Gilpin, Clay Smallwood, Ray Phillips and Buddy Lewis.
Mike is survived by his wife of 37 years, Gaye Adkins Arthur, his sister Debbie Jayne McDaniel of Gadsden, Alabama and Eureka, California, his nephew Josh McDaniel of Eureka, California and his daughter, Abbey Arthur of Guntersville, Alabama.
Mike was born in 1951 in Gadsden, Alabama, to Roy Billy Arthur and Vernice Ruth Arthur. He attended Emma Sansom High School and, in 1972, transferred to the Auburn School of Forestry to pursue his life’s passion – to be come a forester. Mike graduated from Auburn in 1974 with a B.S. in Forestry. That year, he started his career with St. Joe Paper Company cruising the woods and swamps of North Florida.
In 1979, Mike was promoted to Unit Forester of the Albany unit of St. Joe where he would manage all of St. Joe’s properties throughout Middle and South Georgia. His love was the 26,000 acres in Dougherty, Baker and Calhoun counties – in the past, known as the Red Cypress Lumber Company – and today includes the Chickasawhatchee WMA. This property included such attractions as the Windmill Pond, Flathole Bridge and the Bird Roost Pond. Many great memories, and good friends, were created in those places. For 20 years, he nurtured and cultivated one of the finest stands of timber in South Georgia and it was his proudest accomplishment as the forester he dreamed of becoming as a child.
Mike retired from St. Joe, started Kiokee Forest Management, and, became a consulting forester for many landowners in South Georgia. He was honored to be entrusted with the management of timber stands on family farms, multi-generational properties, investment properties, and, even folks’ front yards. He loved what he did and valued the relationships he had with his clients.
Everyone that knew Mike knew he was a simple man. His overalls, his dogs Trixie and Emmylou, his hairstyle, and his warm, friendly manner, were his trademarks. His love of Alabama football puzzled many because he was an Auburn graduate. He loved the Gulf and the hard-working people of Eastpoint and Apalachicola. He loved his friends and his family and he will be missed.
Casual attire for the service is welcomed – including overalls. Immediately after the service, everyone is invited to gather and have lunch at the pole barn at the Arthur home at 2822 Tarva Road.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a charitable donation, in memory of Mike Arthur, to the Auburn University School of Forestry or the Albany Humane Society.