We invite you to celebrate and memorialize the life of LTG(Ret) James H. Johnson, Jr. A husband for 62-years, a military officer for 33-years, father of four children, ten grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. and the friend of 100s. On Thursday, 28 September, the day of memorialization will begin with a Mass at St. Martha's Catholic Church at 10:00 am, followed by a military funeral at Sarasota National Cemetery at 12:30 pm, and concluding with a reception at the University Park Country Club at 2:00 pm. We hope you can join us to share memories of this great man.
Lieutenant General James H. Johnson, Jr., U.S. Army (Retired), a distinguished military leader whose legacy spans decades, passed away on 18 August 2023. Born on 16 December 1937 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Jim's journey was one of discipline, devotion, and unwavering commitment. His life was marked by his unyielding dedication to duty, honor, and country, values that he carried from his formative years to his illustrious military career.
Jim's path to greatness was laid in his upbringing. The son of James H. Johnson and Betty LeBoy, his roots were steeped in a proud military tradition. His father, a decorated World War II veteran, instilled a sense of duty and courage that would guide Jim's life. Inspired by the enduring values of West Point, Jim pursued his dream and earned a coveted appointment to the United States Military Academy, graduating in the Class of 1960.
Upon graduation, Jim embarked on an extraordinary 33-year career in the U.S. Army, where his leadership shone as an airborne infantry leader. With four combat deployments, including two tours in Vietnam, he proved his mettle. His tenure with the 82nd Airborne Division showcased his exceptional leadership, rising through the ranks from Rifle Platoon Leader to Division Commander. Jim's leadership was critical at key moments in history, including his role as commanding general during the night airborne assault of Panama in Operation JUST CAUSE, and his leadership in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM during the Persian Gulf conflict.
Jim's legacy extended beyond his military service. Even after retiring from active duty in 1993, he continued to serve his nation with unwavering dedication. He served as Director of a Joint Civil-Military Training Program in the Balkans and as the Secretary of Defense's representative in Central Asia. As Honorary Colonel of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, he remained a guiding presence for over two decades, embodying the values he cherished throughout his life.
Jim is survived by his loving family. Married to Edna Matthews for 62 years, she was a source of unwavering support and inspiration. Together, they raised four children, nurtured ten grandchildren, and shared in the joy of one great-grandchild.
Lieutenant General James H. Johnson, Jr.'s remarkable life stands as a testament to the ideals he held dear and the selfless sacrifices he made. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, reminding us all to uphold the principles of duty, honor, and country. As the flag is lowered to honor this true American hero, may his spirit find everlasting peace.
September 28, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM St. Martha's Catholic Church 200 N Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
September 28, 2023, 12:30 PM - 13:00 PM Sarasota National Cemetery 9810 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL 34241
In lieu of gifts, we kindly ask that you make a donation to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation (T2T.org). After clicking the 'Donate Now' link, scroll down to 'In Memorium' donations. Request that your donation is made in memoriam to LTG(Ret) James H. Johnson, Jr. and in dedication ackowledgement to Mrs. Edna M. Johnson of University Park, Florida.
If you have any questions, please contact us, and the appropriate supporting agency will get back to you.
To learn more about the life and career of LTG(Ret) James H. Johnson, Jr. please visit Combat Jump Publishing, LLC. General Johnson recently finished his memoir, "STATIC LINE: An Airborne Infantryman's Career," with a publication date just two days before his passing. General Johnson worked passionately on his book to leave lessons and stories to future military leaders and his family. His last public event was the book signing at the 82nd Airborne Division Convention in Washington, D.C. Checkout the website to learn more.