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Stephen Kerr Johnson of Gainesville, FL passed away on Friday, December 29, 2017 at E.T. York Hospice Care Center. Born September 21, 1944 in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Stephen is survived by his wife, Michele Adams-Johnson; his children, Gillian Johnson of Ft. Myers, FL, Shannon Honigblum (Gregg) of Austin, TX, Laura Adams Wilson (Roy) of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Erick Adams of Gainesville, FL, and Michael Johnson (Laura) of St. Augustine, FL; ten grandchildren, Knut, Zachary, Samuel, Zoe, Cole, Wesley, Grady, Beryl, Kayden and Olivia; and three brothers, Greg Johnson of Daytona, FL, Neal Johnson of Roanoke, VA, and Clint Tyrell of Gainesville, FL. Stephen was a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Florida Levin College of Law and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He was a committed member of the Gainesville Rotary Club International and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award for his generous contributions to Rotary. Stephen was an attorney and counselor at law, with an emphasis on counselor. He loved litigation and passionately advocated for his clients, but it was his deep commitment to counseling with empathy that often turned clients into lifelong friends. Stephen always saw the best in people and this served him well as an attorney, but it was simply who he was, eternally positive, generous and kind. A lifetime of helping people traverse their most challenging times has left a legacy that his family is truly proud of. Stephen loved the law but his true passion was his family. The consummate proud father he would regale anyone who would listen about his children's many achievements including grandchildren, bachelors degrees, masters degrees, and especially his daughter Shannon's two terms of Peace Corps service. If there is one thing that could rival Stephen's love of his family it would be his passion for Gator sports. It is safe to say that there is nowhere else in the world Stephen would rather be than sitting next to his brother Clint, Gator visor on, behind center plate at a Florida Baseball game.
If Stephen was not at a Florida sporting event, he could be found exploring art fairs and galleries. A true patron of the arts, Stephen and his wife Michele made their home a veritable art gallery with beautiful works across many mediums. Not unlike his relationships with clients, Stephen's favorite artists often became lifelong friends. If we are judged by the company we keep then Stephen was an incredible success. His friendships were many and spanned decades from all walks of life. While so many of us get lost in our own hectic lives, Stephen always made time to reach out to the many people he cared about. He simply made the effort and that loving attention made an impact on all those lucky enough to call Stephen a friend. One common thread across Stephen's life was the spiritual connection he felt deeply to those around him. His kind soul and giving spirit were a joyous constant in so many people's lives and although he is no longer with us physically his unwavering spirit always will be.
For details about the celebration of Stephen's life please visit

Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 3 to Jan. 4, 2018
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