Arthur Samuel Rabjohns died peacefully at home on Saturday May 22nd 2021, at 100 years, six months, surrounded by his family.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen Mary Rabjohns, his parents, Arthur William and Mary Elizabeth Rabjohns, and his sister Ruby Anita Burns.
Arthur is survived by his son Simon, daughter-in-law Jeanette and granddaughter Sophia, as well as his nephews Robert Burns and wife Bobbie and children of Waynesville NC and Tony Norris, and wife Hille, of Bochum, Germany.
Arthur was born in London on Nov 3rd, 1920, but he grew up in the West Country town of Tiverton in Devon, which accounts for his accent. His father worked in the local brewery and Arthur attended school until age 14, when he was apprenticed to be a sheetmetal worker.
One afternoon in 1944 he was in the garden at his home when he noticed an attractive young lady reading a book in the garden next door. He struck up a conversation despite the fact that the young lady appeared more interested in her book. Arthur persisted and was rewarded when Kathy eventually agreed to be his wife and the two were married on Aug 5th, 1945.
After 17 years of marriage, on April 7th 1962, Arthur became the proud, and somewhat surprised, father of a son, Simon. As a blue collar tradesman, Arthur had little materially, but he and Kathy made many sacrifices to provide Simon with the best upbringing they could afford. Of course, most importantly they bequeathed to him a fine spiritual heritage that has stuck with him his entire life.
In 1969 the family went to South Africa to attend an international convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they loved the country so much that they literally never went home. Their congregation in Southampton, England, sent them 3 trunks of belongings, sold what they could, and gave away the rest. So the family began life in South Africa with 3 trunks and 3 camp beds.
Arthur and Kathy later settled in the Johannesburg area, occasionally seeing Simon for brief periods when he returned home on vacation from his travels in International Branch Construction Work.
In 2000 Kathy suffered a debilitating stroke which left her paralyzed down her left side. Arthur set a sterling example of diligently caring for his beloved Kathy. In 2001, Arthur and Kathy moved to the USA, where they lived first in Waynesville, NC, with Rob Burns and his family for several months, while Simon and Jeanette cared for Jeanette’s critically ill mother. Thereafter, Arthur and Kathy moved to Bourbon, MO, to be with Simon and Jeanette.
Kathy passed away in February 2005, and Arthur deeply felt the loss of his dear partner of almost 60 years.
In January 2008 Arthur moved to the house that Simon and Jeanette had built on the family farm, where he was able to take daily walks in the woods with the family dog (and cats).
In 2009, much to Arthur’s delight, his granddaughter Sophia was born. He would play board games with her and let her play with the coins in his big jar. Towards the end Sophie was a big help in caring for her grandfather.
Arthur was a great character that lived a long, interesting and very full life. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.