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Paul D. Johnson

November 13, 2015 September 21, 2015
Paul D. Johnson
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Obituary for Paul D. Johnson

Remembering the Life and Legacy 

Friday
October 2, 2015





at Calvary Baptist Church
6122 Haverford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  

Viewing:  9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Celebration of Life
11:00 a.m.

The Interment will conclude at 
Washington Crossing National Cemetery
Newtown, PA

 
 
The B Side: The Life & Times of Paul D. Johnson, Sr.
 
Verse One   
On the sunny afternoon of September 21, 2015, Paul Dwight Johnson, Sr. was called home to glory to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Paul lived a life full of faith, family, and love and leaves behind a legacy filled with these same qualities.
    Born on November 13, 1949 into a loving family that consisted of his mother Anna, older sister Tanya, Grandmother Elizabeth, and Grandfather Daddy Joe, destined for greatness, Paul learned about the essence of loving God and loving family from an early age.  When his mother Anna was blessed to meet Donal M. Johnson, the couple married after a wonderful courtship and the new family resided in Philadelphia, PA, Keyser, WV, and Waterbury, CT. While the family lived in Philadelphia, Paul attended Alice Cary Elementary School in Elmwood, and during the year that the family lived in Keyser, WV, he attended Keyser Elementary School.  Once Donal and Anna both found gainful employment and relocated to Waterbury, Ct, Paul attended Slocum Elementary School and later graduated from Crosby High School. The City of Philadelphia held a special place in Paul’s heart from the time of his youth on into adulthood.  
Crescendo
In 1968, after high school, Paul was drafted into the Army to serve during the Vietnam War, but decided to enlist in the Air Force to fight for his country instead.  On the third of April 1969, after completing basic training in Texas before his deployment to Vietnam, Paul was baptized at Calvary Baptist Church.  Upon completion of his tour of duty in Vietnam, Paul was stationed at the Dover Air Force base in Delaware, and received his honorable discharge in 1971. After his discharge, Paul returned to Philadelphia to reside, and was employed at the John Wannamaker Department Store from 1971-1972.  He also attended the Columbia School of Broadcasting in 1972, and worked for the 30th Post Office from 1972-1974.  In addition to his other jobs, Paul’s love of music and fun lead him to work as an MC at numerous hip parties of the day found in Philly.  He became known as The Heavy J upon his return from Vietnam, something that was no surprise to his family and friends, both new and old.  In 1974, he began his career with the School District of Philadelphia, where he would serve with distinction as a school police officer until 2007, when he retired after 33 years of service.  A consummate provider for his family, Paul was no stranger to working night school as a school police officer, having a second job at Boston Coach as a short and long distance chauffeur, as well as working at the Charles Young Post as a host.
The Hook
This faithful servant of the Lord was also an awesome family man and father.  Paul took the responsibility of being a great husband and father to heart because he had learned about the importance of those relationships both from watching Daddy Joe with Grandma Elizabeth and from watching Donal with Anna.  Therefore when he became a family man, Paul cherished his marriage with Elaine. In 1971 while stationed at the Dover Air Force Base, one evening at a house party in Milford, Delaware, Paul had the pleasure of meeting Elaine Baxter, who was a student at Delaware State University.  Paul courted Elaine until 1973, when he proposed to her by tossing a ring to Elaine in a sock while hanging out with his close friends from Vietnam, Dave, Willie, and Quincy at Aunt Frieda’s house. Paul stated, ”…this is something to keep you warm…” Elaine found the ring inside and accepted his proposal for marriage.  The couple married in 1974 and were an instant family as Paul immediately adopted Jonathan, Elaine’s child from a previous relationship, Anna Lynette was born in 1976, Krystal Michelle was born in 1982, and Paul Junior was born in 1984. He had a specific bond with each child, while there was one family, Paul made sure that Jonathan, Lynette, Krystal, and P.J. each knew that Daddy loved them in a special way.
When life saw fit to begin to provide Paul and Elaine with Grandchildren, he would come to cherish those relationships as well. Affectionately known as Pop-Pop first by Courtney, followed by being named Bubba by Kareese when she should have been too young to speak let alone to re-name her grandfather, Justina, David, Jonathan, Kanyla, Josiah, Amber, a Kelli would call his name, make him smile, and receive whatever their hearts desired, often to the dismay of their parents.  Amelia, the youngest, currently only six months old, held by him just twice, the others will one day explain to her that Bubba loved and cherished her too.
Verse Two
When seeds are sown in fertile ground fruit will be produced. Reverend Emerson Talmadge was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church who saw Paul grow from a boy into a man.  Always known to sing whenever and wherever he could, Paul was a member of the Talmadge chorus for 24 years at Calvary.  Paul brought his family to church every Sunday as well as ensured that his children sang on the youth choir. On the 28th day of August in 1988, Paul was ordained as a Deacon at Calvary.
The Bridge
From the time that he was a young man the opportunity for a road trip was near and dear to Paul.  As a teenager, he would catch a Greyhound on the weekend from Waterbury where there was no soul on the radio to Philly where there was Georgie Woods on the Radio and a party waiting for him, accompanied by his stylish and sharp wardrobe and flawless dance moves that were practiced to perfection.  He would spend summers in Philly too, catching shows at the Uptown, emulating James Brown’s dance moves partying at the Town Hall on Broad Street with Little Gene, Slink, and the rest of the crew, catching a Phillies game with Daddy Joe, or charming a pretty young gal with those sparkling blue eyes, dressed to the nines and ready for a good time.
The Melody
However, Paul’s love of the road trip experience was something woven into the fiber of his being.  Paul was known to move both family and friend from the top of Philly to the bottom of it, from Philadelphia to New Mexico, and all places in between or farther still.  He also sought to make road trip lovers of his children, taking family road trips in the wood paneled station wagon or later the Dodge caravan accompanied by sandwiches with Miracle Whip and Motown ever present along the way.
And then there was the love affair with music.  Actually, there would have been a melancholy existence for Paul to live if there had been no music in it.  With a record collection that began when Paul was a boy, his collection includes 45s, 33s, 78s, vinyl, 8 tracks, and reluctantly even CDs.  Before they were oldies, they were the soundtrack of his life. Whether it was Motown or a gospel standard, Paul sang with his all, from the bottom of his heart, from the depth of his soul. 
Paul D. Johnson was a friend in every sense of the word.  Always dependable.  Always reliable.  Always kind.  Always faithful. Always loving. Always consistent.  Always there.  Paul showed up for each and every person whom he loved. Paul cherished the relationships with his friends from Keyser to Philly, from Philly to Connecticut, from Vietnam to Dover, from the east coast to the west coast, from the north all the way to the south, Paul made friends wherever he would go and a truer friend than Paul no man could ever know. 
 
The Fade
            Upon retiring from the School District of Philadelphia, Paul was able to pursue whatever he wanted to whenever he wanted to as any retired person will inform you is their just due, their time in the sunshine.   Paul did things his way.  When you reached him through his On-Star line in his Caddy, if you were to ask Paul of his whereabouts he would kindly reply, “…somewhere in America...” 
In a conversation with close family and friends at his bedside during his recent illness, Paul remarked about the Glory of God and how blessed he was to be here on this earth for about forty-five seconds out of eternity.  He spoke of the Faithfulness of God, the Grace of God, and the Manifest Presence of God within his life.  Therefore, while Paul Dwight Johnson, Sr. will be dearly missed, all should find comfort in knowing that Paul is with his father in heaven.  It was well with his soul.  Paul leaves to cherish his memory: his wife, Elaine; mother Anna Dean; sister Tanya; children, Jonathan, Lynette, Krystal, and Paul Jr.; grandchildren, Courtney, Kareese, Justina, David, Jonathan, Kanyla, Josiah, Amber, Kelli, and Amelia; Aunts Frieda and Gloria; Uncle Alvin in addition to a host of relatives and dear friends.  Paul was preceded in death by the following loved ones, Father, Donal M. Johnson; Brother, Doni Craig Johnson; Close Cousin, Craig M. Freeman; and grandson Jonathan Jr., whom welcomed Paul once he arrived in Glory on September 21st.  Paul Dwight Johnson, Sr. was a wonderful man and his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who loved him.  As his very best friend Dave stated: “When you have a record, there is an A side and a B side.  Paul always liked the B side.  The B side was always the hit.”  Paul Dwight Johnson, Sr. was a hit.
Lovingly Submitted by the Family

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