VERNON, Fla. - Danny "Chief" Johnson, 70, of Shallow Water Drive, Vernon, passed away Thursday (Sept. 23, 2021) at home, battling an illness with cancer, with his family at his side.
He was born Nov. 3, 1950, in Jamestown, N.Y., the son of the late Donner and Geraldine John Johnson. Danny was an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Beaver Clan.
He was a 1970 graduate of Salamanca High School, where he played football and ran track. He and his teammates broke the previously held record of 1962 for the one-mile medley relay.
While living and working in New York, he helped build the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, which began construction in 1976 and opened Aug. 1, 1977. He worked for H&H Farm Service in East Randolph, N.Y., building silos throughout Western New York.
He has been a longtime resident of Florida, and he worked construction for Ajax Building Corp in Tallahassee as a concrete form carpenter for 20 years and retired from the company in 2005.
Danny loved spending time with family and friends. He was an avid NASCAR fan who traveled to many races in his lifetime, his favorite racetrack was Talladega Superspeedway and his current favorite driver was #9 Chase Elliott. Other favorite drivers are #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the late #3 Dale Earnhardt Sr.
He also enjoyed gardening and had a green thumb. He loved cooking, canning and liked experimenting with new recipes and piddling on projects at home in Bunker. He also had a love for Chow Chows "Katie Sue."
He was a member of the Parker Creek Hunting Club, Brantley, Ala. He enjoyed the outdoors, camping and all wildlife and raised a raccoon named "Queenie" in his younger years.
He is survived by his wife, Debra Jones Johnson, who he married Oct. 30, 1994; dog, Katie Sue and grand-dog, Charlie; a brother, Jud (Joan) Johnson of Frewsburg, N.Y.; four children, Darren (Sheila) Johnson, Danielle (Patrick) Redeye and Bethany Johnson, all of the Seneca Nation, Allegany Territory, and Monica (Ricardo) Juarez of Tallahassee; and a stepson, Micah (Summer) Jones of the Cattaraugus Territory, N.Y.
He is additionally survived by an aunt, Terri "Babe" John of the Allegany Territory; 10 grandchildren, Elsie Redeye, Connor and Emma Johnson, Jocelyn, Chelsea, Adrianne and Kamryn Cook, Morgan and Marlee Maybee and Sarah Juarez; and five great-grandchildren, Acelynn Jacobs, Duey, Coraline and Tyler Longboat and Somiya Chamas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Donner and Geraldine; and a grandson, baby Tyler Bowman.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 29, 2021) from the VanRensselaer & Son Funeral Home, 14 Church St., Randolph. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday (Sept. 30, 2021) from the funeral home. Longhouse speaker Gonio Miller will officiate. Burial inurnment will be in the Hillside Haven Cemetery, in Steamburg, N.Y., with Honorary Pall Bearers Kenneth "Chocks" Trevelen, Jack Seay, Larry Manley, Ricardo Juarez, Aaron Johnson, Klint Nephew and members of the Parker Creek Hunting Club.
Memorials may be sent in Danny's Memory to ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
To leave a condolence, log onto www.vanrensselaerandsonfuneralhome.com.
Published by The Salamanca Press on Sep. 27, 2021.