Remembering a Habitat for Humanity hero

April 24, 2008 10:00:46 AM PDT
In San Francisco, the murder rate is rising again with four more killings than this time last year. The latest victim, number 34, is much more than a statistic to his family of course, but also to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Exactly one week ago Ken Arthur was presenting Mayor Newsom with an award on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and the family was making plans to go to their son's college graduation. Now they're making funeral arrangements.

The 46 year old married father of three was found stabbed to death early Monday morning just blocks from his Bayview home.

"They took a great man, a great husband, a great father," said Angela Lincoln-Arthur, the widow. "He was somebody. He was my best friend."

They are also grieving at Habitat for Humanity, which chose Ken Arthur to M.C. last week's event because they consider him a hero.

The Arthurs were the very first family in San Francisco's Habitat for Humanity program, renovating and rebuilding the house they still live in.

"He was such a passionate advocate and believer in everything from his family, his wife, his sons to Habitat. He was our single best example of what success means. Which is why this is all so unbelievably awful," said Phillip Kilbridge, from Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat put together a video two years ago to honor the 10th anniversary of the Arthurs becoming home owners. Now the house is empty without him.

"I guess I'm still in denial. I keep waiting, standing outside. Looking down the block, waiting for him to pull up in his work truck," said Kenneth Lincoln, son of Kenneth Arthur.

"Sad, tragic, what a great guy," said Mayor Newsom.

This is now the second murder this year of someone the mayor personally knows. First was the fatal shooting of anti-violence crusader Terrel Rogers in January outside his daughter's basketball game. So far, there are no arrests in either case.

"He is now another victim to this senseless violence. The most tragic part is he leaves behind an extraordinary family," said Mayor Newsom.


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