James L. JOHNSON

Obituary
  • "Having just rejoined a choir after the initial inspiration..."
    - Alison Oona Rachel (Scharnberg)
  • "Jim Johnson was my mentor when I first started teaching in..."
    - Jim Mattson
  • "Jim was my choir master at Queen Margarets School and our..."
    - Jill (Foord) Timko
  • "Sincere belated condolences to the loved ones of James L...."
    - Susilawati (Susila) nee Gail Bryant
  • "To the Johnson Family, I remember "Mr. Johnson" - I met..."
    - catherine malcolm

JOHNSON, James L. Born November 26th, 1922 in St. Louis, Missouri, our dear Jim passed into the light in Chemainus on September 14th, 2012. Predeceased by his parents, two brothers and four sisters, he is survived by his loving wife, Sheila, his son Jeff (Comox), sister Juanita (Cleveland), and numerous nieces and nephews in the U.S. He will be particularly missed by his nephew Ricky and niece Bunny, both in St. Louis, as well as by his many friends, especially the Concenti family. Having spent his childhood in St. Louis, Jim attained an M.A. from Denver, Colorado, following which he emigrated to Canada, settling first in Prince George. He eventually moved to Gabriola Island, and spent the last forty years in the Cowichan Valley. He was a teacher, singer and choir director whose charisma drew people to him wherever he went. As a singer he performed all over North America and also in Europe. For sixteen weeks in the late sixties he hosted the CBC TV show "Moods of Man", and along with his friend Harry Aoki ran a family oriented coffee house in Qualicum for several summer seasons. As a teacher, Jim (J.J., Mr.J.) directed award-winning choirs in high schools in Prince George, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan, Brentwood College, Shawnigan Lake School, and at Cowichan Secondary from where he retired in 1988. Jim also founded successful community choirs wherever he went: the Cariboo Chorus in the 1950s, the Cowichan Chorale in the 1970s, and in 1983 he started the Concenti Singers along with his wife, Sheila, who still directs the group. In 2003 Jim received the Herbert Drost Award from the B.C. Choral Federation for distinguished service and support of choral music throughout B.C. He was also honoured to be made a Paul Harris Fellow for exceptional community service by the Rotary Club of South Cowichan. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Chemainus Health Care Centre, Jim's home for the past six months, Drs. Manhas, Ma and Archdeakin, and Dr. Bass who was his family doctor for many years; also Vicki, who is an angel. Lastly, our heartfelt thanks to Andy, whose music helped keep the flame alive in Jim, and whose September 12 "Blues Night" at CHCC in Jim's honour was so fitting. Donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Chemainus Health Care Centre Foundation Music Programme or the Cowichan Valley Hospice. In memory of Jim, the next time someone asks "How are you?" please reply "Better for seeing you!", and mean it, as Jim always did. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be shared online at www.dignitymemorial.com "> www.dignitymemorial.com

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Funeral Home
First Memorial Funeral Services - Duncan
375 Brae Road
Duncan, BC V9L3T9
(250) 748-2134
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Published in Victoria Times-Colonist from Sept. 21 to Sept. 22, 2012
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