J. Fred Johnson, Jr., former Tennessee State Representative, decorated war veteran, influential civic leader, successful businessman, distinguished church leader, and beloved Sunday School teacher, died on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
He was a faithful and devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, and follower of Jesus Christ. He was born Nov. 29, 1925, in Ft. Sanders Hospital, Knoxville, to Dr. J. Fred and Josephine Johnson. He married Doris Evelyn Hyer on Dec. 5, 1943.
Mr. Johnson attended school at Clara Carpenter Elementary and the Baylor School, graduating in 1942. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1948 from the University of Chattanooga, where he was President of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
He served in the 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army in the European Theater during World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and the Ruhr Pocket campaigns, receiving the Purple Heart for wounds sustained during the capture and crossing of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen. He also received the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and honorable service lapel button.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. J. Fred and Josephine Johnson, of Chattanooga; and his wife, Doris Hyer Johnson, and twin sons, deceased in infancy.
Survivors are his daughter, Janis Johnson, of Chattanooga; son, Jim Johnson, and his wife, Darlene, of Chattanooga; son, Wes Johnson, and his wife, Nancy, of Sachse, Texas; grandchildren, Autumn Holmes, and her husband, Brad, of Ooltewah; Erin Mitchell, and her husband, Charles, of Ringgold, Georgia; Nathan Sanders, and his wife, Shelly, of Abilene, Texas; and Caroline Holzberger, and her husband, Ryan, of Roanoke, Texas; 11 great-grandchildren; brother, Howard Johnson, and his wife, Carla of Chattanooga and his faithful caregiver, Robin Campbell.
During his long career, Mr. Johnson was a General Agent for the National Burial Insurance Company, Interstate Life and Accident Insurance Company, and Transamerica Life Insurance Company. He was a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table. He was a past President of the Chattanooga Association of Life Underwriters.
He served as a Tennessee State Representative for the 79th General Assembly from 1955-1956.
A Board of Finance member of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, Mr. Johnson also was an Elder and Sunday School teacher of the Ragsdale Bible Class at the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga for 50 years (1954-2004). The class was renamed later in his honor.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Hospice of Chattanooga for their compassion and care.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 14, at 11:30 a.m. at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga with Dr. Gary Carver officiating. Interment will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery.
The family will receive friends on on Sunday, May 13, from 2-6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Active pallbearers will be Bob Hopper, Charles W. Kelley, John S. Kennedy, A.C. Pickert, Brad Holmes, Charles Mitchell, Nathan Sanders,and Ryan Holzberger. Honorary pallbearers will be J. Fred Johnson Jr. Sunday School Class and residents of the Stonehenge community.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1505 North Moore Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37411.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaValleyViewChapel.com.
Arrangements are by the Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist, Valley View Chapel, 7414 Old Lee Highway, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.