He was born Jan. 27, 1930, in Greene County, to Paul and Mary Carmichael Arthur.
He graduated from Bloomfield High School and briefly attended Indiana University. On Feb. 2, 1949, he married Elizabeth "Betty" Crites and worked in Indianapolis for a while before moving to Sullivan, to work with his mother and stepfather, Gail Combs, in the Western Auto Store. In 1960, he moved to Brazil when he purchased the Western Auto store, which was located in the
current Shaw Appliance building on United States 40. As the business grew and expanded, the store was moved to the location of the present Goodwill store from 1964 until it closed in 1995. For many years it was one of the top 10 Western Auto stores in the nation through good customers and employees. The
Arthurs won many trips in and out of the U.S. through purchases with Western Auto.
Joe's favorite pastime was aviation. He attended Brown Flying School in Terre Haute and earned his pilots license in 1960, and was the President of the Clay County Board of Aviation Commissioners for many years. He, along with others, was instrumental in getting an airport for Clay County, which was at one time named the Arthur Municipal Airport. He spent many hours getting state and federal aid to keep the airport expanding with a paved runway, lights and fuel and he was always willing to take anyone flying. He had many, many friends in the aviation field. He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge No. 762, American Legion, Ducks Unlimited, Airport Owners and Pilots Association and many other civic organizations, and had attended the Brazil Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his father, Paul C. Arthur, his mother, Mary Carmichael Arthur Combs and his stepfather, Gail Combs.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth "Betty" Crites Arthur; two daughters, Susan Arthur, Brazil and Nancy Pell and husband Dan, Brazil; 5 grandchildren, David and Shelly Elder, San Marcos, Calif., Amanda Elder, Berkeley, Calif., Jim Pell and
Ann Pell, Brazil, all of which he greatly enjoyed.
Services will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007, in the Lawson-Miller Chapel with Burial at the Prairie Chapel Cemetery near Bloomfield at 4 p.m.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, in the Lawson-Miller Chapel.
For more information of to light a candle in his memory, log on to www.frenchfuneralhome.com.