JOHNSON, Paul B. 86, entered into eternal life on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the Bayshore Pointe Nursing Facility. His passing was peaceful and pain free. He was a graduate of the Hillsborough High School class of 1943 and was honored by being included in the Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2008. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps when only 17 years of age and spent his 18th birthday on Guadalcanal and saw combat on Peleliu in the South Pacific. His pride in Marine Corps service continued the duration of his life, leading him to host a Marine Corps birthday party each year either at his office or home until his health prevented the observation this past fall. An additional interest of Paul's, having graduated from the University Of Florida- College of Law in 1950, was following the Gator football team. After his military service and graduation from law school, he, at the age of 26, became the youngest elected county solicitor serving Hillsborough County from 1953 until 1960. Subsequently he was elected and served as State Attorney of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1961 to 1965. His private practice of law evolved into the partnership that was known as Gregory, Cours, Paniello, Johnson, Hayes and Hoft. During his professional career, he became an active participant in professional organizations becoming Chairperson of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association and worked for the successful enactment of grand jury reform in Florida. Among his achievements professionally was serving as President of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association; a member of the Executive Committee of the National District Attorneys Association; and the Vice-Chairman of the Florida Criminal Procedure Rules Committee that wrote the first proposed rules of criminal procedure in Florida and provided for the first meaningful discovery for defendants in criminal cases. He was appointed by Governor Chiles to the Judicial Nominating Committee for the Second District Court of Appeal and served from 1995 to 1999. Among his personal virtues was devout loyalty to friends and a professional dedication to his clients and their welfare. At one point, as a matter of fact, he was offered to contribute to a book on criminal activity in Hillsborough County which he declined, saying that descendants could be embarrassed or impacted. He was an exceptional trial lawyer, a gracious adversary, an effective negotiator, and always a gentleman. His personal interests were diverse and abundant: they included competitive judo, competitive sailing, scuba diving and private plane flying, plus an avid interest in world-wide traveling and a command of foreign language, particularly Spanish which he practiced with native speakers as often as opportunity provided. He is survived by his wife, Annamae Johnson; his son, Andy (Anthony) Johnson; and his adopted son & daughter, Ken and Sherry Johnson; his nephews, Paul, Michael, Greg, David; and niece, Victoria; and sister-in-law, Susan Houx. His stepson, Stephen Whitehouse, with whom he was particularly close, predeceased him in 1996. It would be remiss not to mention his devotion to animals, including horses, dogs, cats and even a neighborhood pet rabbit who lay in his driveway alongside his cats. This love of animals was shared not only toward his pets but also returned by their total devotion to him, his cat following him in his later days as he walked with his cane or walker. He was an active member of the Hyde Park Christian Church and remained so until its sale and closing in 2009. In addition, he was a member of the Tampa Yacht Club, the Davis Island Yacht Club, the Exchange Club, and held previous membership in the University Club and Tampa Club. A private memorial service was held on Thursday, Feb. 21st, Blount & Curry Funeral Home- MacDill Chapel with entombment at Myrtle Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may contribute to the Brain Tumor Research Department at the Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 9099 130th Avenue N, Largo. His allegiance to the efforts of brain research was prompted by the untimely death of his stepson, Stephen Whitehouse of an incurable brain tumor in 1996. And, obviously, his love of animals, their care and welfare prompted the option for the contribution to their cause. Please visit the online guestbook at:

Funeral Home

Blount & Curry Funeral Home - Macdill Chapel
605 S MACDILL AVE Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 876-2421

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb. 22, 2013