James Johnson, Sr., 85, departed this earthly life on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at his home 1114 Montana Drive, Sumter. Born May 23, 1925 in Horatio, he was the son of the late Manfield and Rosa Loyd Johnson.
At an early age he joined Wayman Chapel AME Church, where he was a faithful member until his death. He was a Christian and a kind hearted man. James received his formal education in the public schools of Sumter County. He was employed by Williams Furniture Company for many years. Later, he became employed by Blue Ridge Industries and retired in 1984. he was a very hard working, honest, and humble man who loved God, life and his family.
James was a quiet and loving individual. He was private, but very friendly. He did not start a conversation, but always greeted you with a smile. James enjoyed fishing and driving his Cadillac.
James was joined in Holy Matrimony to the late Parolee Fredrick Johnson. This union was blessed with six loving children.
He leaves to cherish precious memories: his companion, Ruth T. Bradley of the home; his daughters, Gardenia Austin of Atlanta, GA, Paralee Gooden of Orlando, FL, Marietta Payne of Jacksonville, FL, Gloria (David) Barnes of Orlando, FL; a step-daughter, Ruthie (Ricky) Smith of Sumter; two sons, James (Willie) Johnson, Jr. of Bowman, Willie (Vivian) Johnson of Orangeburg; nineteen grandchildren; fifty seven great grand children; a very special nephew, Harmon (Mozella) Pinkney who was like a son; a special niece, Patricia Wheeler; one sister-in-law, Ethel Johnson Spann; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Henry, John and Willie Johnson, and two sisters, Virginia J. Goins and Essie Mae Grant-Wright.
Funeral services will be held 1:00 p. m., Tuesday, February 1, 2011 from the Wayman Chapel A. M. E. Church, 160 North Kings Highway, Sumter, with the Rev. Laddie N. Howard, Pastor, eulogist, Rev. Charlie Howard, presiding, assisted by Elder Barrington Pierson of St. Paul Holiness Church and Rev. Edmond Johnson.
The family will receive friends at the home of his step-daughter, Ruthie Smith 1180 Flamingo Road, Sumter and at the home of his nephew, Harmon Pinkney 527 Night Ridge Road, Guignard Park, Sumter.
The funeral procession will leave from the home of his step-daughter at 12:20 p. m.
Floral Bearers will be granddaughters, members of the Women’s Missionary Society and Stewardess.
Pall Bearers will be grandsons and friends of family.
Interment will be in the Wayman Chapel A. M. E. Church Yard Cemetery, Sumter.