After a happy holiday filled with festive lights, a family is grieving a loss in a tragic household accident.
Bruce Johnson loved decorating his home for Christmas, but as he was taking down the lights at his Franklin home Wednesday, he fell from a second-story window and died.
Johnson's closest family and friends would want you to remember him for the way he lived, not the way he died. And if nearly 50 years of marriage taught Cheryl Johnson anything about her husband, Bruce, it was his love of life.
"A day without fun was a wasted day to him," Cheryl Johnson said. "He just wanted to live life to its fullest. He didn't want to waste days."
On New Year's Day, Bruce Johnson was removing icicle lights when he slipped and fell at least 15 feet to the bricks below.
Neighbors saw it happen and rushed to help.
Though medics and, later, trauma doctors tried, it was not enough to save him.
Friends and family filled the couple's Westhaven home on Thursday, where pictures tell the story of a man who valued family and fun.
"I just feel amazing about all of that. There's just one thing missing. He was our leader," Cheryl Johnson said.
Though tough to discuss, it seems Bruce Johnson's death reminds his beloved Cheryl, and maybe all of us, of the best way to live.
"My husband lived every day like it was his last," she said. "He loved working. He loved playing. He loved chill time. He loved time with friends. And I think we all just need to learn to live where we are - bloom where we're planted."
Bruce Johnson leaves behind four children and 10 grandchildren.
The family credits their neighbors in Westhaven for their remarkable support. In fact, while the family was at the hospital dealing with the emergency, someone stopped by to remove the rest of the Christmas lights so Cheryl wouldn't have to when she returned home.
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