HINDMAN, Ky (WYMT) - Elmer Bolen Junior is a man we only knew as a victim. Junior, as his friends call him, lost his home to a fire earlier this year in Knott County. However, he did not lose his spirit.
Junior was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and just last week, he lost his battle with the disease. His funeral Wednesday afternoon was held in Hindman.
Life-long friend Kermit Short tells WYMT there was not much in life Elmer Bolen Junior could not overcome.
"He always had a smile on his face and he did not want anyone to try to do anything for him. He wanted to do it himself," said Short.
Junior lost both legs and one arm in an accident when he was 17. In an interview with WYMT earlier this year, he told us his loved ones kept him going.
"It tickles me to death. It feels good. People helping me like that," said Junior.
But Wednesday, young and old gathered to remember their friend.
"He always called me his dad. So that really pleased me too. He called me tubby, but that is alright," said Short.
A devoted volunteer firefighter, Junior was thanked for his service one more time with a processional led by fire trucks.
"The fire department meant everything to him. He really enjoyed it. He enjoyed getting to help people," said Short.
Aaron Boggs also attended the funeral. He knew Junior from his days living in Ohio. He said everyone that met Junior was inspired.
"They would just see Junior and know, if that guy was making it, they could make it," said Boggs.
And if the number of people who showed up to say one final goodbye is any indication, then Junior helped many.
"What others would see as a disability, he refused to see that. He never would park in a handicap spot and I am just really going to miss him. But I know that I am going to see him again in heaven," said Boggs.
Junior was 58 years old.