James Johnson

James H. Johnson

Wednesday, January 27th, 1926 - Saturday, September 21st, 2019
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James Henry Johnson, 93, went to be with the Lord on September 21, 2019. He will be greatly missed as he had a fun loving and friendly personality that affected all he knew and met on his journey through life. He was born January 27, 1926, in Davidson Tennessee. He always went out of his way to help people in need and on two emergency situations tried to save lives. James was dedicated to family, work, and friends, always seeking new ways to make life enjoyable for everyone. He told great stories of his life where he grew up in the hills of Tennessee and Virginia.

He started working at an early age carrying the medical bag for the doctor when he made house calls and delivering groceries to families in the mountains. During and after the depression he made an honest living: as a coal miner, on the Tennessee railroad, and doing whatever it took to support the people around him. Among other things, it stands out that he sang gospel music on a Tennessee radio station. He later moved to Michigan where he perfected his trade: working at Chrysler, on the line as a body technician, as a welder for Clark Equipment, and at Clark Cortez and Eaton’s all of which later became the foundation for his forty plus years serving the community with passion, as the Owner of Jim Johnson’s Auto Body Shop. He made many lasting friendships with customers and the people he did business with. To sum it up the story of John Henry could have been about James Henry because he could outwork the machine. James was also a distinguished veteran of World War Two serving in the United States Navy until the war ended. In school, he participated in basketball and football (they used leather helmets), boxing in the Navy (he boxed the state champion of Illinois, stock car driving, and in retirement, golf and riding his Honda scooter. He enjoyed listening to country music, playing his harmonica, and juice harp and introduced us to buck dancing.

James was preceded in death by his father James Elmer Johnson, mother Eliza Johnson, brother Ralph Johnson, brother Hugh (Junior) Johnson, wife of 34 years W. Opal Johnson and a grandson Robert Joseph Parsons and great great-grandson Malik Dishman. James is survived by his sister Juanita (Carl) Riddle, brother Bobby (Judy) Johnson, three children Rita (Otto) Olson, Rhonda (Henry) Turner, Keith (Benedikte) Johnson, the lady he shared his life with since 1986, Annie Louise Horton, her children and grandchildren. He had five grandchildren of his own, and a whole heap of great and great great grandchildren.
He cared about and loved us all

A memorial service will be held at noon on Thursday October 3, 2019, at the Potter's House Church, 226 Capital Avenue., N.E. Battle Creek Michigan with visitation from 11:00 a.m. until service time. Contributions may be made to The Potter's House Church.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 | 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Potter's House Church
    226 Capital Ave NE
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 | 12:00pm
    Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 12:00pm
    Potter's House Church
    226 Capital Ave. NE
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Juanita Riddle, Michael Riddle, Carl and Ruth E Ro and Senda sent flowers to the family of James H. Johnson.
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Juanita Riddle, Michael Riddle, Carl and Ruth E Ro

Posted at 01:43am
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Juanita Riddle, Michael Riddle, Carl and Ruth E Ro purchased the Full Heart for the family of James Johnson. Send Flowers



Posted at 04:07pm
Sending with cherished memories and immense gratefulness for the love and care your dad( and mom) so graciously gave to me. Forever in my heart.
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Senda purchased flowers for the family of James Johnson. Send Flowers


Bonnie Johnson

Posted at 02:52am
Hugh took me to meet my brother-in-law, James, shortly before we were married, and he became a marvelous friend. James always made me feel welcome in his home. He was truly one of a kind and I feel honored to have known him. I would say REST IN PEACE, but I know now that he is in Heaven, everyone will have to watch out for the Johnson Brothers. I will truly miss you, James. You surely were special. Love you, Bro

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