Bernard Frederick Johnson Jr. (1933 - 2018)

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Bernard F. Johnson Jr. passed away quietly surrounded by his daughters at his home in Richmond Hill on May 15, 2018 at the age of 84.
Born in Rahway, New Jersey, Bernie spent his summers as a boy feeding his passion for the sea by working on fishing boats on the Jersey Shore, where his parents owned a summer home. He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Helen Cilwik, at the age of 18. She predeceased him on March 21 of this year.
His earthly accomplishments are too numerous to list and those touched by them will remember him for those feats and more. Carpenter, helicopter pilot trained by NJARNG, retired as a CWO4, church elder, Mason, MRS member… these are but a few of the many hats he wore.
More important than those; he was a devoted husband and great father who, with his wife Helen, provided the best role models as a couple and as people of integrity. Bernie never hesitated to do the right thing, no matter what the situation or whether the right thing was the popular thing or not.
He was a teacher, not only by profession as training helicopter pilots but, more significantly, to his daughters and others he mentored through is life. His lessons were not limited to carpentry, boating or any of the myriad of practical skills he had to offer, but included far more important teachings such as wisdom, honesty, patience, kindness, faith, doing your best, and unconditional love. And in a house with four women, that wasn't always easy!
He is survived by three daughters and their husbands, Bernadette Jean and Richard Jamele, Deborah Ann and Frederick Barwise, Cheryl Lynn Johnson and her significant other, Raymond Arthur; four grandchildren and their spouses, Pamela Grace and Alex Gardinsky, Brett Richard and Pamela Jamele, Erin Corrine and Scott Zaborowski, and Jessica Louise and Joseph Bolger; five great-grandchildren, Chase Zaborowski, Arianna Zaborowski, Tristan Jamele, Max Gardinsky and Ember Bolger; and by one very loved black cat, Alex.
There will be a viewing from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Richmond Hill Funeral Home, 8901 Ford Ave. (Hwy. 144), Richmond Hill, followed by a Masonic service in their chapel the next day, Friday, May 18, at 11 a.m.
A celebration of the lives of both Bernie and Helen will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at St. Elizabeth of Hungary's Episcopal Church, 16491 GA-144, Richmond Hill.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah 84741-5000 ( or Hospice Savannah, 1352 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, GA 31406 ( ).
Richmond Hill Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral Home
Richmond Hill Funeral Home - Richmond Hill
8901 Ford Ave. P.O. Box 999
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
(912) 756-7575
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Published in BryanCountyNews from May 15 to May 22, 2018