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William James Johnson

May 29, 1938 ~ September 16, 2017 (age 79)

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September 23, 2017

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Filbrandt Family Funeral Home

Military Honors
September 23, 2017

12:30 PM
Filbrandt Family Funeral Home

William James Johnson, of South Haven Michigan, passed away Saturday, September 16th, 2017. He was born May 29, 1938, the Son of Mabry and Mary Virginia Johnson.

William, a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan was preceded in death by his parents Mabry and Mary Virginia Johnson, along with his brother's Booker Carter, John Johnson and David Johnson

William was a wonderful man, husband, father, and friend to many. A lover of music, good food, and good company. Known for his cheerful ways, corny jokes, and boyish looks. He loved to make people laugh, and had a smile that could light up the room. It was truly a blessing to be loved by him because he would go to the ends of the earth for his loved ones. He will be missed by many.

Early in life, William was a member of Mount Zion Church in Kalamazoo, MI where his parents were founding members.  He graduated from Kalamazoo central in 1958, and went on to Western Michigan University with a focus in Social Work. William was a star athlete while in high school and college with the highlight of breaking a World Indoor Track Relay Record. 

With a career in Social, Work, William had a knack for helping and supporting others around him. Working over 40 years in public service, William was employed as the first African American Manager of a government funded housing property in Kalamazoo County.  He retired from the Van Buren County health department where he worked as a Mental Health Case Manager.

William leaves behind his wife, Theresa Johnson of South Haven, his sons Kelvin Scott Johnson of Pensacola Florida and step-son Derryk Rodney Priestley of Kalamazoo (both of a previous marriage with Dorothy) step children Lawrence Lewis of Salina Kansas and Frederick Lewis of Anaheim California, and step-daughter Edith McSpadden of Pullman Michigan.  Also left behind are his brother Joel Johnson (Delores) of Oakwood Village Ohio, 19 grandchildren (Leah Brunt, Joshua Lewis, and Earlina Love,) 4 great-grandchildren (Amerie Lewis, Amahnii Brunt, Joshua Lewis Jr., Arii Brunt) and a host of cousins, nephews, nieces, and friends.

Visitation for family and friends will take place Saturday, September 23rd, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM at the Filbrandt Family Funeral Home in South Haven, Michigan. Military honors will be conducted following visitation at 12:30 PM. Cards, flowers and such can be made out to Theresa Johnson and Family and sent to 74642 16th Avenue South Haven, MI 49090. 

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