Nelson Vincent Johnson Jr.
September 21, 1920 – April 6, 2019
Nelson V. Johnson of Jacksonville, FL, joined our Lord on April 6, 2019. Born in Philadelphia, PA, on September 21, 1920, he was the oldest of six children born to his loving parents, Nathan Johnson and Mary McDonald.
Nelson attended Temple University until answering his country’s call to arms in World War II. At the age of 22, Nelson enlisted in the US Army and, after completing Basic and Advanced Training, specializing in the handling of sensitive munitions, he deployed to the European Theatre. Nelson was assigned to General George Patton’s Third Army, where he served with valor and distinction.
When Nelson, recovering from injury on the Normandy landing, learned that his unit was ‘moving out’, he climbed out of his field hospital window and rejoined his unit. Nelson then took part in the final campaign to liberate Europe. Upon returning from War, Nelson and his new bride, Mary Jane Brady, left their home in Philadelphia to pursue a new life in the West, where they settled in El Paso, TX, adopted and raised a son Tim, and Mary Jane enjoyed a successful career as a schoolteacher.
Nelson quickly became part of the cadre of experts developing and testing new, cutting edge missile and rocket technologies for the U.S. Government at White Sands and Los Alamos, New Mexico. Nelson’s decades long career was a testament to his belief in a strong national defense. Upon retirement from federal service, Nelson became a real estate enthusiast and enjoyed a successful second career.
After the passing of their son, and later his beloved Mary Jane, Nelson relocated to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and quickly became involved in his church and associated social activities. He also became a mentor to younger members of his extended family, who looked to their ‘Uncle Nels’ for guidance. Nelson displayed an unwavering Catholic faith and truly loved the Lord, his family and his many friends.
He is survived by three sisters, Alice Gartland, Virginia Dougherty, Catherine Hurford, a brother, Charles Johnson and numerous nephews and nieces. A celebration Mass will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church at 11AM on April 24, with reception after Mass. Nelson will then return to El Paso, where he will be laid to rest with military honors at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please donate to: the National Association of Veterans and Families, 1300 Cooks Lane, Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043.
- Alice Gartland, Sister
- Virginia Dougherty, Sister
- Catherine Hurford, Sister
- Charles Johnson, Brother
- Mary Jane Johnson, Wife
- Tim Johnson, Son
- Numerous nephews and nieces.
Our Lady Star of the Sea
545 A1A N