James "Poppa" Johnson
1940 - 2020

James "Poppa" Johnson

COLUMBIA -- Funeral services for Mr. James "Poppa" Johnson, 80, of 407 Lost Creek Drive, Columbia, will be held at 12 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at Simmons Funeral Home Chapel, 2868 Columbia Road, Orangeburg, with interment to follow in Belleville Memorial Gardens. The Rev. Dr. Charcey Priester is officiating.

James Wade Johnson, affectionately called "Poppa," son of the late John Henry and Martha Baker Johnson was born on Oct. 12, 1940, in Orangeburg. After living 80 wonderful years, always happy and singing, he departed this life on Dec. 24, 2020, surrounded by his loved ones.

James was educated in the public school system of Orangeburg and graduated with the Wilkinson High School class of 1960. He also attended Claflin University and Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College.

At an early age, James gave his life to the Lord and became a member of Shiloh Baptist Church In Orangeburg. He later joined St. Paul Baptist Church and was a dedicated and faithful member. He loved to sing and was a member of St. Paul's Mass Choir and Male Chorus and served as chairman over St. Paul's Sports Ministry.

James joined the Orangeburg Public Safety Department, and as a proud member of service, he showed a strong sense of dedication to the community he served and took great pride in his policing duties. James rose through the ranks of leadership to Captain until his retirement. After retirement, James ran and was elected Sheriff of Orangeburg County and was well respected by the citizens he served in the department's community police program.

Poppa, along with coach James Williams, founded the Orangeburg Track Club. They competed throughout the United States, winning numerous medals and honors. Poppa truly cherished his time with the kids and providing opportunities they would not otherwise experience. The community truly

appreciated his efforts teaching the children about competition and their travels throughout the United States displaying all their acquired skills. Poppa loved sports, but more than sports, he loved the kids. May his voice of encouragement continue to echo in all their hearts.

James leaves to cherish his memories his loving and devoted wife of 60 years, Mary Ruth; children, Montez L. Johnson Sr. (Rose), Dinita M. Johnson, Rodney W. Johnson (Lillian), and Duane A. Johnson (Faith); brothers, Ezekiel Johnson, Wade Johnson (Miyoka); grandchildren, Montez L. Johnson Jr., Essence Cook Phillips, Braeden Johnson, Miechelle Johnson, Reese Johnson, Etima Cook Sanders, Cyril Davis, Reyhnard Butler and Bernard Butler; nine great-grandchildren; loving uncle, Sam Baker of Washington, D.C.; three brothers-in-law, Robert L. Keith, Eugene (Rose) Keith, Thomas (Loretta) Keith; sister-in-law Sadie M. Culler; lifelong best friend, Willie Keitt; and a host of relatives, friends and loved ones.

Visitation will be held Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, from 1 to 7 p.m.

Friends may call at the residence of his son, Mr. Rodney Johnson, 1964 Taylor Blvd., Orangeburg, or Simmons Funeral Home and Crematory of Orangeburg.

Please adhere to all COVID-19 precautions.

Online condolences may be sent to www.simmonsfuneralhome.com

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The Times and Democrat on Dec. 28, 2020.
Funeral service
Simmons Funeral Home
2868 Columbia Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118
Funeral services provided by:
Simmons Funeral Home
Add a Message
11 Entries
I'm so sorry for your lost I'm just seeing this praying for your family God bless you all
Mary L Williams
December 30, 2020
As my family called him, Poppa Johnson. He was always a part of our family . Mary on behalf of the Cook family we send Prayers & our Condolences to you & your Family.
Mr.& Mrs. Norman ( Jackie Cook ) ThomasA
December 30, 2020
Sending condolences and prayers to you and your family during this difficult time.
Mr. and Mrs. Vic (Sylvia Haigler) Corbit
December 29, 2020
Our prayers goes out to you and your family doing this difficult time in the loss of your loved one .Let Jesus be your comforter
Curtis and Julia Randolph
December 29, 2020
Sorry for your lost an may GOD be with your family always
December 29, 2020
My condolences to the family. Poppa was family but most importantly a friend. He is gone but not forgotten.
Deborah Fulmore Johnson
December 28, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.
Almenia Colter Hussey
December 28, 2020
My condolences to the Johnson family he was a good friend of our family he will truly be miss praying much for y´all
Minnie Blanchard Jenkins
December 28, 2020
Mary,please know that you and the family have deepest sympathy. May God continue to bless each of you.
Sandra B Salley
December 28, 2020
You have my deepest condolences on the list of your love one you are in my thoughts and prayers doing this difficult time .May god continue to bless and keep safe during this time
Patricia Bailey
December 28, 2020
My Deepest Sympathy to the Family of James "Poppa" Johnson. He was a great Family Friend.
Margarett Austin
December 28, 2020