July 21, 1941 - January 14, 2013
Remembering J. J. “…and we all know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 On July 21, 1941 Willie Sr. and Lue Nittie Jones Johnson were blessed with their fourth child. Honoring Lue Nittie’s father, James Jones, they named their fourth of nine children James Johnson. So began the life of one James Johnson in the “Booker T” community in Monroe, Louisiana. With eight other siblings, there was never a dull minute in the Johnson household. James accepted the Lord as his Savior at an early age uniting with St. Luke Baptist Church in Monroe. His early education was received in the public schools of Ouachita Parish. A natural leader, James served as junior class president and senior class president. He graduated from Carroll High School in 1960. James knew that there was a big world out there, but he knew that in order to accomplish his life’s goals, an education was a “must.” So, as he would often say, “With all my worldly possessions in a croaker sack on my back,” he headed south to Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He loved mathematics and decided to pursue a degree in his “passion.” But, employment for young men with a degree in pure mathematics was limited. He changed his major to Mathematics Education and graduated from his beloved Southern University in 1964. In 1963 while pursuing his degree at Southern, James met a delightful perky young lady from New Orleans. Mamie Marcelle Parker was a fellow Mathematics Education major, so they had a great deal in common. Thus began the two year courtship of James and Mamie and on December 25, 1965, Christmas Day, Mamie Marcelle Parker became Mrs. Mamie Parker Johnson. Monroe, Louisiana was their honeymoon destination as Mamie had never visited the northern part of the state. They were blessed with two boys: Reginald James and Royce DeWayne. After graduating from Southern in 1964 James began his career as an educator at his alma mater, Carroll High School. However, in August of 1965, he moved to a little town north of Monroe, Bastrop, where he was hired to teach mathematics at Morehouse High School. Mamie would soon join him. Math teachers were a precious commodity and Morehouse Parish was getting two of the best and the brightest. They purchased a home in Bastrop on Talley Street and “set about raising their boys and imparting knowledge to the students of Morehouse Parish.” James, however, decided that he wanted to pursue another degree. In 1969, he graduated from Northeast Louisiana State College (now University of Louisiana at Monroe), earning a Master of Education degree in Administration and Supervision. He also earned 30 additional hours from Northeast. James was a charter member of Northeast’s chapter of the prestigious Phi Delta Kappa, a professional fraternity in education. James loved children and gave unselfishly of himself to the students of Morehouse Parish. In 1969, he was appointed assistant principal of Delta High School in Mer Rouge, Louisiana, where he served admirably for eleven years. He served as the assistant principal of Bastrop Junior High-East Campus for one year. Then, in 1980, he was named principal of Mer Rouge Elementary School, where he served for seventeen years. Prior to his retirement in January 1998 he served as principal of Bonita Elementary School in Bonita, Louisiana. For thirty three and a half years, James Johnson touched the lives of the students. He challenged them to be the best they could be and would never accept less than their best from them. Thirty two and a half of those years were spent molding and shaping the minds of young people in Morehouse Parish. James was extremely active in professional associations: the former Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) and the Louisiana Education Association (LEA). He also served as president of the Morehouse Education Association. He was active with the state and national elementary principal associations, often attending national conferences and serving on state wide committees. After James and Mamie moved to Bastrop, they united with St. Mary C.M.E. Temple. They loved the Lord and St. Mary was an integral part of their family life. James served as a Trustee, a member of the Steward Board, and a Sunday school teacher. He also served as church treasurer and Sunday school superintendent. In 2010, Elder Kaylan B. Walker appointed him Sunday school superintendent for the Monroe District where he coordinated the District’s annual Sunday school convention and provided leadership to Sunday schools in twenty-one C.M.E. churches in northeast Louisiana. James’ passion for service manifested in his commitment to Fidelity Lodge #53, F. & A. M., P.H.A. where he was a Past Master and a former District Deputy Grand Master. With the Grand Court Heroines of Jericho, he was a Past Grand Most Worthy Joshua for the state of Louisiana. He served as High Priest for Providence Chapter #46, Holy Royal Arch Masons, P.H.A. He was member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Melverna Donald #61 and Past Potentate of Jomadi Temple #171, A.E.A.O.N.M.S. Shriners, Inc. He frequently attended meetings on the state and national levels. In the 1980’s James noticed the need for a scouting experience for African-American males in Bastrop and he initiated the establishment of a Cub Scout pack and a Boy Scout troop. He served as Scoutmaster and enjoyed taking the scouts camping and teaching them the proper method for tying knots. His passion, commitment, and leadership were an inspiration then and even now to those young men. A passion that James and Mamie shared was their love for Southern University. As Life Members of the Southern University Alumni Federation, they encouraged many Morehouse Parish students to attend Southern as well as assisting in raising funds for scholarships. James was a former president of the Bastrop/Morehouse Southern University Alumni Chapter and regularly attended the national alumni conference. Under his leadership, the Bastrop/Morehouse Chapter received Outstanding Chapter Award for several years at the national alumni conference and was recognized as one the leading alumni chapters in the nation. He was member of the Southern University Quarterback Club and travelled regularly to Jaguar football games. James was also one of the founding members and Past President of “Club 21” Men’s Club of Bastrop, Louisiana. James departed this life on January 14, 2013. He is preceded in death by his wife, Mamie Marcelle Parker Johnson. He leaves to cherish his memory, his guidance, and his love: two sons, Reginald James and Royce DeWayne; three grandchildren, Miles Laurence Johnson of Austin, Texas, Marcellus DeWayne Johnson and Madison Zene Haydel of New Orleans, Louisiana; three brothers, Willie Johnson, Jr. of Dallas, Texas, Joseph Johnson (Danute’) of Folsom, California, Ricky Johnson of Monroe, Louisiana; four sisters, Lula Mae Reed, Beverly Batiste, and Gloria Jean Reed, all of Los Angeles, California, and Margaret Johnson of Monroe, Louisiana; one aunt, Ida Mae Ealy of Oakland, California; one uncle Marcus Jones of Monroe, Louisiana; cousins-in-law, William Bigbee (Linda) of Atlanta, Georgia, Jana Clark Nero (Lloyd) of Zachary, Louisiana, and Barbara Sneed (Felton) of Shreveport, Louisiana. He is also survived by his two goddaughters, Jayme Clay of New Orleans, Louisiana and Krystal Bradford of Monroe, Louisiana, and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12;30 The family of James Johnson request that all flowers, gifts and other tributes be donated to the Bastrop Morehouse Chapter of Southern University Alumni Foundation, P.O. Box 139, Bastrop Louisiana 71221. Thank you and may God Bless each of you.
Remembering J. J. “…and we all know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 On July 21, 1941 Willie Sr. and Lue Nittie Jones Johnson were blessed with their... View Obituary & Service Information
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