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Well Known Blind Musician Killed In House Fire

A community is dealing with the loss of a well known blind musician killed in a house fire overnight in Harlan County.

Those who knew Arthur Johnson say he was one of a kind.

Just to give you a sense of how people are reacting to Arthur Johnson's sudden death, a steady stream of cars passed his now burned out home.

Arthur Johnson did more without eyesight, than many people do with it.

“He was an accomplished musician who could play the piano, the accordion, the banjo and the guitar,” Dr. Bruce Ayers said.

He was a known historian and biblical scholar. Arthur Johnson even had his own TV show.

But despite what he was able to do, he was much more interested in others.

“He wanted to find out about you so he could develop a more meaningful relationship with you,” Dr. Ayers said.

Firefighters found Johnson lying in bed in the back of his home, after flames ignited early Tuesday morning.

Investigators are still looking into what caused the fire, but they believe smoke is what took Johnson's life.

Just last week the 81 year old filed his nearly 800th article for the Tri-City news. He would type them himself.

“He would basically have a conversation with the reader through his words,” Faith Clark said.

Even though he could not physically see, “Arthur Johnson may have been blind, but his articles were through the eyes of Arthur Johnson,” Clark said.

A vision and a perspective now lost so suddenly.

“A great man, a wonderful friend, and someone who left a legacy that will be with us for a long time,” Dr. Ayers said.

And a memory of a man who didn't let a limitation stop him from how he wanted to live life.

The Tri-City Funeral Home in Benham is handling Arthur Johnson's funeral arrangements, but they are still pending.


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