James "Ron" Ronald Johnson
December 2, 1937 – May 1, 2020
James R. “Ron” Johnson, 82, transitioned into the presence of His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, May 1, 2020. For the record, Ron did not lose his battle with illness, he defeated it. Pain and struggle died on Friday, but Ron gained the ultimate victory, being in the presence of Jesus, giving praise to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Ron was born on December 2, 1937 to Walter and Ruth Johnson. Ron lived in several places across the United States, and when pressed he could tell you about his adventures as a very young man away from home for the first time serving in the United States Marine Corps in Hawaii--where he ate so much pineapple, he never wanted to see it again--or what it was like riding motorcycles with Steve McQueen soaking up the California sun.
Later, Ron married and was blessed with 4 children, Terry Barber, James R. Johnson, Jr., Richard Johnson, Bruce Reed Johnson, along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Throughout his life he cherished being a father and grandfather and being an important part of his children’s lives, fishing with his sons, sharing Texas-sized meals and bragging to anyone who asked about them.
After his stint with the Marines, Ron became a meat cutter working in various locations such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, San Antonio, and Fredericksburg, Texas. It was in Albuquerque where he met his future beloved wife Mary. Ron and Mary recently celebrated their Golden Anniversary in February, and he recently told someone that he would “happily sign up for 50 more.” He was a devoted husband and his strength and sense of humor saw them through every challenge life brought their way. When Ron and Mary married in 1970, he gained 4 young daughters and neglected only one thing: he somehow forgot to read the handbook on being a distant stepfather. From day one, after Ron married Mary, he treated his stepdaughters with kindness and respect and loved Mary’s daughters as if they were his own. Linda Scott, Barbara Heacox, Mary Ellen Bobo and Carol Mitasky were greatly blessed when Ron came into their lives.
Being a gregarious person, Ron never met a stranger, and enjoyed making new friends wherever he went. Solving the world’s problems over a cup of coffee with a neighbor or friend was one of his favorite pastimes. He also was a talented musician who was the lead singer and band leader of a group called the Nite Life Band during the 1980s, and these part-time musicians/full-time renegades enjoyed entertaining in small venues all over the Texas Hill Country. Later, when he became a Christian, Ron’s favorite time of the week was attending church on Sunday morning with the woman he loved. When Ron and Mary moved to their adopted hometown of Tyler, Ron and Mary discovered the joys of fellowshipping with their new church family at New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler. Ron loved his church family and spoke often of how the folks at New Harmony were such a blessing to his life. Ron was an avid reader with a voracious appetite for learning; Ron never met a book he didn’t want to read. Because of his reading, his family soon discovered that no matter how many Bible studies you attended, you could not beat Ron in Bible trivia. A dedicated Ham radio operator, Ron loved talking to people all over the world. His collection of postcards from fellow operators, proved Ron had a gift for making friends.
Although no highways or bridges will be named in his honor, no man-made monument is necessary to honor James R. “Ron” Johnson. He leaves behind a legacy of unconditional love that cannot be extinguished with his passing. There are many neighbors and friends who will remember him as a humble, decent man of faith who was content with the blessings of his life and his place in it. His love of the Lord, his wife and family, his country and church family were the constant lights in his life, and he remained thankful for all of them until the end.
The family of Ron Johnson would like to thank all their neighbors and friends and especially the members of New Harmony Baptist Church who have faithfully served them in countless ways throughout the years. For more than a year, Randy and Wanda Baggett personally ministered to Ron and Mary. They demonstrated true Christian love by driving Ron to appointments, helping wherever possible, and they brought the gift of loyal friendship.
Due to the Covid-19 virus, no funeral is planned at this time, but a private family Celebration of Life will be held in Ron Johnson’s honor next weekend. Ron will be interred at Tyler Memorial Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a memorial contribution to the New Harmony Baptist Church Benevolence Fund, 10251 FM 724, Tyler, Texas 75704.
A Celebration of Ron's Life
Saturday, May 9, 2020
James "Ron" Ronald Johnson
Mary Ellen Bobo
May 13, 2020
I love you Daddy, and I will see you in heaven. ♥️
David & Teresa Hodge
May 6, 2020
Ron was truly a special friend of ours. David and I owe it to Ron along with his wife Mary for getting married. We had so many good times with them going to CB rallies or just visiting. He was a great family man and Mary the love of his life. We are better people to have known him. I know Rons suffering is past as he is enjoying being with God the father also enjoying the beautiful music in Heaven now. Semper Fi...Thank You for your service in the Marines.
May 5, 2020
You will be missed more than you know. I have always had a special place in my heart for you ever since I was a little girl. I remember you always saying to me "stop chasing them boys". You were always cracking jokes and smiling. I always loved being around you and feeling your big hugs. Our family was blessed to have you in our lives. I love you ❤️
May 4, 2020
This picture shows how proud Daddy was of his grandkids and great grandkids. He had tears of joy in his eyes watching Emily, Tanner,and Travis do their part at Anna and Tommy's wedding!
May 4, 2020
I thank you for being such a great neighbor to my parents for checking on my dad after my mom passed away love you for being a faithful friend
May 4, 2020
The day you married our mom you immediately gave us the names Rebel#1-4. (Based on birth order) This was your way of letting us be involved in your passion of cb radio. We grew up camping, fishing, and swimming usually in the Guadalupe River with some of your cb friends and their families. You encouraged me to love reading by introducing mysteries and old classics that we would find. Your life lessons were always simple taught and always remembered. You disciplined with those lessons and never made us feel anything but loved. I will miss your laughter...you always laughed at my corny jokes. Thank you for loving my mother and treating her as if she was a queen. Thank you for loving us and always being supportive . And thank you for loving our kids and grandkids and giving them wonderful memories of you
May 4, 2020
I will always cherish the memories I have of us watching old John Wayne films or watching the History Channel together. Til we meet again, Semper Fi, Grandpa.
May 4, 2020
There are way too many memories to post of my favorite uncle. Loved your humor and loved when I made you chuckle.