Deacon Alexander Albert Johnson Sr., 93, of Disputanta, departed this life in the early morning of Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at Sitter and Barfoot Veterans Care Center, Richmond. He was a caring, devoted, hardworking and dutiful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend who will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
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In the spring of 1920 on April 18, Deacon Johnson was born to Horace Johnson Sr. and Almitta Fultz-Johnson in Prince George County. He was the second eldest and the oldest boy of eight children. His grandparents were farmers and lived at what is now the Red Gate Road area. Mr. Johnson grew up with a strong influence of his paternal grandparents, James Mitchell and Nettie Johnson who insisted that the children observe the Sabbath and attend church and Sunday school. As a result of this early religious influence, Deacon Johnson accepted Christ at an early age of four. He was a member of the Union Branch Baptist Church Deacon Board for over 40 years. At the time of his death, he was the oldest deacon and male member of the church.
Deacon Johnson was drafted in to the Army in December 1943. He was a combat veteran of World War II. He was sent to the Pacific where he participated in combat in Saipan. Pfc. Johnson was honorably discharged from the Army on Feb. 28, 1946. He was a decorated World War II veteran whose citations include a Bronze Star.
Deacon Johnson returned to work at Hercules Inc. in Hopewell where he worked until 1950. In 1951, he and his wife decided to pursue their life's career as farmers in Prince George. He enrolled in agriculture training offered by USDA, Prince George County Cooperative Extension and had a successful farming business. Deacon Johnson and his wife raised their five children on his maternal grandparents land, Henry and Sarah Fultz.
He was described as a bit of a "Renaissance man". At 60 years of age, he enrolled and completed a principles and practices in real estate course at Fort Lee offered by VSU. He was also an activist and advocate for the advancement of civil rights in Prince George County. He was a leader in the efforts to integrate the public schools of Prince George, active and diligent in civil rights organizations. He served as president of the Prince George Branch of the NAACP and holding leadership positions in the SCLC and Voters League.
Deacon Johnson cherished his association and work in UBBC. Over a period of many years, he served willingly and tirelessly, giving dedicated and faithful service to his church community. In addition, to being a deacon he served on numerous boards and auxiliaries.
Deacon Johnson was predeceased by: his wife of 63 years, Mrs. Beatrice Bland-Johnson and his granddaughter, Alexandria Johnson; three brothers Henry Sr., Horace Jr., and Russell Johnson; two sisters, Ruth Pitt and Alverta Huffman.
He leaves to cherish his precious memories: five loving and devoted children, three daughters, Deloris Lewis, Constance Roane, Dr. Novella Ruffin (Junious), all of Prince George; two sons, Alexander Albert Johnson Jr. of Silver Spring, Md., and Conrad Johnson (Vanessa) of Suwanee, Ga.; two sisters, Naomi Dillard and Rebecca Hicks, both of Petersburg; 10 loving grandchildren, Dildra Roane, Marisa Johnson, Jermaine Johnson, Noelle Cash (Theodore), Kelly Clark (John), Jessica Settles (Corie), Brittany Ruffin, Jarrot Lewis, Joi Ruffin, James Johnson; three great-grandchildren: Janiyah Settles, Kassidy Clark and Janise Settles; two nephews, Steve Dillard and Henry Johnson Jr.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at the Union Branch Baptist Church, Prince George, with the pastor, the Rev. Marcus Allen, officiating. Interment will follow in the Loving Union Baptist Church Cemetery, Prince George. The family may be contacted at 804-732-6050 (Deloris Lewis), 804-722-3502 (Constance Roane) or 804-862-4162 (Novella Ruffin). The family is asked to assemble at the funeral home at 10 a.m. on the day of the service.
This service of honor and remembrance has been entrusted to the staff of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, Petersburg. For more information, or to leave an online condolence, visit us at blandenterprisesinc.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27, 2013