James M. Johnson, 87, passed away peacefully on Monday, October 26, 2020, at Wayland Nursing Home in Keysville, VA. He was born January 18, 1933 in North Carolina, to the late Homie Barksdale and Isom Johnson. He was married to Elizabeth Wright Johnson who preceded him in death on February 7, 2003.
James worked for Aramark at Longwood University until he retired. Additionally, he worked at various jobs in Baltimore, New Jersey, and New York prior to returning to his hometown in Meherrin, VA.
James was a strong, loving, and hardworking individual who would go out of his way for others. At times, James was taken advantage of due to his willingness to give freely. He had a soft heart for people and would never do anyone harm. He was a man of few words. However, when he spoke, his thoughts were meaningful and powerful. James saw beauty and value in things that may not have worth to others. He was a collector of unique items, and was always thinking of ways he could fix objects or beautify them. He had a great love for fishing, hunting, and collecting pictures of his loved ones. He loved playing his guitars and recording his own music. James had a green thumb and always had many plants in his home and on his porch.
James is survived by his children, Bernice Johnson Ford (Stuart), Deborah Harbin, Sylvia Stokes (Phillip), Gregory Johnson (Nana), and Chanielle Saunders; his grandchildren: Shernice and Darius Ford; Kamrin Harbin, David and McKenzie Washington; Veronica, Erica, and Deirdre Stokes; Dontavious Massey-Johnson, Deshanique Massey-Johnson, Gianna Johnson, Shaianna Johnson, Narence Kelly, Dominique Johnson, Joshua Johnson, Moyses Johnson; and Antonio and Payton Saunders. He also has seven great grandchildren. He leaves to cherish his memory: his step-sister Karla Tisdale and step-brother Mark Keith Barksdale; one aunt, Bernice Seymour; and a host of cousins, family, and friends.
A special acknowledgment to his caregiver, Celia Hodges, for her hard work and dedication to his daily care.
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