Obituary for William Johnson Sr.
WILLIAM HOWARD JOHNSON
October 6, 1930 – May 29, 2017
William Howard Johnson was born on October 6, 1930, in Washington, D.C., to Dr. and Mrs. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson. He is predeceased by his wife of thirty years, Renee P. Johnson. He was the fourth of five siblings, of which the first three predeceased him: Carolyn Elizabeth Johnson Graves (Dr. Beverly Graves) and their two deceased sons, Beverly Graves III and Stephen R. Graves; Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Jr. and Archer Clement Johnson. He is survived by his son, William Howard Johnson; grandson, Nigel Patrick William Johnson; his daughter, Veronica Ruth Johnson; grandson, Nathaniel Byron Timothy Johnson; step-daughter, youngest sister, Anna Faith Johnson Jones, and her son, David Dallas Jones, and his children, Samuel Jones, Andrew Jones, Anna Jones; and her son, Christopher Wyatt Jones (Angie Jones), and their children, Jackson Jones and Audrey Jones; sister in law, Enid Tucker Johnson (Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Jr.) and their children, Carla (Stephen) Buczinski, and their daughter, Amelia (Matthew) Decker; Madelyn Johnson, Diana Veilleux, (John) and their son, John Edward Veilleux, Jr. Ruthanna Graves McQueen (Kevin) and their daughters, Carolyn Morton and Kaitlin Morton; nieces and Timmie’s great nephews and niece, Jason,Tasha and Yusef Graves (Beverly Graves III) David H. Graves and his four children, David Jr., Marcus, Gabriel and Sophia Graves; Michael J. Graves and his son, Michael Graves, Jr. (Carolyn J. Graves); Archer Johnson, Jr. and (Elisa) children, "Archito," Marialisa, Jennifer; Adlin Johnson and family; Carmen Johnson Marcel (Claude); Raphael Johnson; Mordecai Johnson and family; and Col. Mario Johnson and (Darcy) and their daughter, Alexandra, Mario Jr., Nichole, Tiffany, Sabina, Racheal; (Dr. Archer C. Johnson) sister in law, Nilda Johnson; sister in law Norma Johnson, MD, and niece Normita Johnson, MD. His stepdaughter, Nina U. Poppe, two life long friends, Vaughn Phillips and John Beckley, also survives him and children of life long, predeceased friends, Samuel and Lanita Singleton; Debbie, Donna, and Samuel Singleton and Christopher Hayes.
His family and friends knew William, as “Timmie.” His eldest sister, Carolyn, wanted him to be named Timothy from the Charles Dickens character “Tiny Tim” from, A Christmas Carol. Since that was not his given name, Timmie, or Tim, caught on for his nickname, as well as for his son, William, Jr. So many people over the years have wondered how a person named William could be known as Tim, which illustrates the strong bond, influence and folklore of the Johnson family. “Timmie” worked for greater than thirty years as an engineer for NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC., having contributed to many of the aeronautical projects displayed in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum today. To his associates at work, he was known as “Bill Johnson.” Though he was nicknamed after “Tiny Tim,” his personality was very large and in charge. He received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, where he also sang in the glee club, and his graduate degree from Howard University, under the presidency of his father, Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, the first Black president of Howard University. His lifelong friend, John Beckley said that Timmie understood what it meant to be educated in the greatest HBCU, Howard University, because it cultivated what it truly meat to educate, or “lead out of the darkness of the mind from ignorance to knowledge.”
Tim Johnson was filled with endless great stories that tickled the funny bone, and stimulated our capacity for learning. He always spoke so lovingly about his brothers and sisters, his children and nieces and nephews. He had a love of motorcycles, cars, jazz and blues, and of course, math and sciences. He was proud of his family and all of the lovely memories that warmed his heart. After Renee passed, he enjoyed traveling throughout Florida to spend time with Timmie (Jr.) and his grandchildren, Nigel and Nat Johnson. Finally we were able to move him to south Florida to be with family. Unfortunately, he battled many health complications. Though he spent some valuable time with his children, he peacefully slipped away in his sleep to enjoy his eternal partnership with Renee P. Johnson on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017.
Because William “Tim” Johnson was always a lover of music and education, in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Crestwood Middle School Music Department, to the attention of Veronica R. Johnson, Music Department Chair, located at 64 Sparrow Drive, Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33411