OBITUARY

Johnnie Carson

June 23, 1926June 29, 2018
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Johnnie Lee “J.L.” Carson was born on June 23, 1926 in Ofahoma, Mississippi. He was the seventh of nine children (two of which died in childbirth) born to the union of Emmett and Iola (Morris) Carson: Lizzie, Emmett James, Daisy, Melvin, Dolphus, Johnnie and Roy. He was preceded in his death by both parents, five siblings, his devoted wife of 53 years, Irene; three daughters: Odessa Woods, Leola Baker, and Jean Golden; and three grandchildren: Lathan Baker, Lucretia Baker and Preston Rodney Jenkins.

J.L. will be dearly missed by his family. He leaves to cherish his memory three loving and devoted daughters: Navis (Elvis) Dunn, Barbara (Alister) Coutain, and Nancy Lee Carson, all of Chicago, IL.; five granddaughters: Natasha Woods, Luciana Baker, Nedra (Alanza) Dixon, Alexandria Dunn and Alisia Coutain, all of Chicago, IL; nine beautiful great-grandchildren; sister Lizzie Harris of Joliet, IL and a host of nieces, nephews and relatives.

A visitation for Johnnie will be held Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Andrew J. McGann & Son Funeral Home, 10727 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60655. A funeral service will occur Wednesday, July 11, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 10727 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60655. An interment will occur Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 W. 87th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.andrewmcgann.com for the Carson family.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, July 10, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, July 11, 2018
  • Interment Wednesday, July 11, 2018
REMEMBERING

Johnnie Carson

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Biography

Johnnie Lee “J.L.” Carson was born on June 23, 1926 in Ofahoma, Mississippi. He was the 7th of nine children (two of which died in childbirth) born to the union of Emmett and Iola (Morris) Carson: Lizzie, Emmett James, Daisy, Melvin, Dolphus, Johnnie and Roy. He was preceded in his death by both parents, five siblings, his devoted wife of 53 years, Irene; 3 daughters: Odessa Woods, Leola Baker, and Jean Golden; and 3 grandchildren: Lathan Baker, Lucretia Baker and Preston Rodney Jenkins.

As a young boy, J.L. joined Greenwood Chapel Church where he confessed his faith in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

J. L. attended Greenwood Chapel School in Mississippi. He learned the meaning of hard work at an early age. As a child of the Great Depression era, his sharecropper parents depended on him to work on the farm and pick cotton starting at the tender age of 6 years old. As time went on, he was forced to grow-up even faster when his father died at the age of 10 years old. After the passing of his father, he felt that it was his responsibility to become the man of the household and care for his ailing mother and his younger brother, Roy.

J. L. learned early on that if he was to get anywhere in life, he had to work hard for it. At the age of 16, he became a young entrepreneur by purchasing his first truck to start-up his own logging business of cutting and hauling pulpwood, even though at the time he did not have a driver’s license. Although he didn’t finish high school, Johnnie had natural smarts and was an astute learner who was able to quickly figure things out on his own; he could repair most things around the house, without professional assistance. As his children would often say, ‘if dad couldn’t fix it… nobody could.’

J. L. left Mississippi for the first time in 1946 at the age of 20 and came to Chicago. A few months after arriving, his sister Daisy contacted him to come home because his mother was very ill. He returned home to take care of his sick mother. After his mother’s death in 1948, he left Mississippi for Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1949, J. L. returned to Mississippi to rekindle a relationship with longtime childhood sweetheart, Irene Harris.

On Sunday, December 4, 1949, Johnnie married Irene, the love of his life. To this union six children were born: Odessa, Leola, Navis, Jean, Barbara, and Nancy.

During subsequent years, J.L. worked hard at farming and logging to provide for his growing family. In 1961, he and his wife moved the family to Chicago in search of a better life. With a wife and five children at the time, J.L. wasted no time in finding a job and settling into his role as the family’s breadwinner.
J.L. held a number of positions over the years including Rock Island Railroad for over a decade and CTA for 20 plus years where he received several promotions; the last position held prior to retirement was CTA Supervisor. He was honored to receive several awards and recognitions while at CTA. While at Rock Island Railroad he was one of the key builders of the original railway tracks that later became Metra Railways. He usually worked 2 full-time jobs at any given time ensuring that he had the means to provide for his large family’s needs and desires. In 1978, he purchased his first of 3 tow trucks and started his own business as owner and operator of J. L. Carson Towing Service while still working fulltime at CTA. Although he retired from CTA in 1992, he continued to operate his towing business until the age of 82 in 2008, when he began experiencing some health challenges. J. L. was awarded numerous honors for being a successful business owner for over 30 years.

J.L. enjoyed home cooked meals, traveling, tinkering around the house and spending time with his family. He was a fierce competitor. He was unbeatable at checkers, loved the game and played to win. He had the same fervor as a businessman and was driven to find success in any pursuit.
J.L. was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who made many sacrifices to ensure his family enjoyed a good life. He was selfless and always put family first. His family could always depend on him no matter what the circumstances were…. he truly loved his family and they knew it.

J.L. will be dearly missed by his family. He leaves to cherish his memory three loving and devoted daughters: Navis (Elvis) Dunn, Barbara (Alister) Coutain, and Nancy Lee Carson, all of Chicago, IL.; 5 granddaughters: Natasha Woods, Luciana Baker, Nedra (Alanza) Dixon, Alexandria Dunn and Alisia Coutain, all of Chicago, IL; 9 beautiful great-grandchildren; sister Lizzie Harris of Joliet, IL and a host of nieces, nephews and relatives.


A visitation for Johnnie will be held Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Andrew J. McGann & Son Funeral Home, 10727 S Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60655. A funeral service will occur Wednesday, July 11, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 10727 S Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60655. An interment will occur Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 W 87th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.andrewmcgann.com for the Carson family.