Obituary for Joseph Arthur
On Wednesday, February 15, 2017; the beloved son of the late John Evans Kofi and Ama Fowba Arthur; brother of Victoria Lana Baker, Francis Arthur, Henry E. Arthur, Rebecca Yeboah, Benjamin Arthur, Joseph "Papa" Mark Arthur, Evans Kwame Arthur and the late Evans Kwame Arthur. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Relatives and friends are invited to Joseph's Celebration of Life on Tuesday, February 21 from 11 a.m until time of service at 12 p.m. at the GEORGE P. KALAS FUNERAL HOME, 6160 Oxon Hill Rd. Oxon Hill, MD. Interment Resurrection Cemetery.
Life Story for Joseph Arthur
Joseph William Arthur, eldest of nine children born to the late John Evans Kofi Arthur and Ama Fowba Forson, was born deaf. He and his siblings were born in Accru, Ghana. Joseph attended schools for the deaf where he excelled in academic studies and was an excellent soccer player. Because she wanted a better life for him, Joseph’s mother allowed him to leave Ghana with a sponsor, Andrew Foster, to come to the United States in November 1977. Upon his arrival, Joseph lived with African friends in Flint, Michigan for two years. During this time, according to Joseph, he was employed as a mail clerk.
Joseph enrolled in Bible College in Seymour, Tennessee for a year beginning in August 1978. Shortly thereafter, his sponsor was killed in an accident in 1979. Joseph then moved to Washington, DC. Joseph married in January 1981, was able to obtain his “green card,” and finalized his divorce in 1987. No children were born of their union and none were adopted.
He was employed at the Washington Beef Company from June 1979 to 1989. Joseph studied hard and earned his US Naturalization papers, becoming a full-fledged citizen in 1993.
He was placed as a food service worker in the cafeteria at Gallaudet in August 1984, where he displayed excellent work performance and dedication to his job. He remained there until the accident, which changed his life. A vehicle struck him, caused an amputation and other medical and physical problems. This is when Joseph’s unceasing faith in God as his inner-strength prevailed. He faced the many challenges; surgeries; losses; etc., with courage, a smile, and unwavering prayer and praises to God. Everyone he encountered admired his strength of character and belief in God. He was hospitalized for six months. He was initially placed in a Maryland Nursing Home, where he remained until his Legal Guardian obtained a Court Order to have him transferred to J B Johnson Nursing Home in 2003. There he received 24-hour compassionate, comprehensive, medical and therapeutic care and where two of his deaf friends resided.
As his health improved, Joseph participated regularly in the Shiloh Baptist Church Deaf-Outreach Program for many years. He continued regular participation until it closed about three years ago. Joseph was then referred by his Legal Guardian at the time, to the Life Matters Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Senior Program in SE Washington, DC. He attended twice weekly and remained until health matters interfered with him continuing. However, he never gave up hope of returning.
Joseph has always been an essentially peaceful and generous person. His amiable Christian-like countenance endeared him to almost everyone. He was truly admired and loved. Ironically, on February 14, Joseph was voted “King for the Day” during a Valentine’s celebration at the Nursing Home. Joseph was pre-deceased by one brother. He leaves to mourn two sisters: Victoria Baker and Rebecca Yebouah; five brothers: Henry E. Arthur, Francis Arthur, Benjamin Arthur, Evans Arthur, and Joseph Mark Arthur. He leaves to cherish his memories a host of friends, loving caretakers, and well-wishers. What a pleasure it was to know him!