Smithfield: Obituaries

April 9, 2014

William Clay Johnson

William Clay Johnson, 18, was born December 8, 1995, to ML Mueller, Raleigh and Frank Johnson, Kenly. He died unexpectedly on April 2, 2014.

Clay was an exemplary student-athlete at North Johnston High School where he was beloved for his outgoing demeanor, superior intellect and good humor. He was recently competing for Valedictorian of the 2014 graduating class and he will be graduating with High Honors. He was a member of National Honor Society, and he received the distinction of the Chief Marshall of National Honor Society as a Junior, as a result of having the highest GPA in the school.

He was recognized for his outstanding leadership skills and was selected as the Office Assistant to the Principal. He was also taking JCC college classes in preparation for his freshman year at NC State, where he intended to enroll this fall.

He was a four year letterman for the football team, where he was recognized for his contributions as an outside linebacker. After sustaining an injury last year, he helped coach the Junior Varsity football team. His dream was to become a college football coach.

Clay was also a four year letterman in track where he competed in the triple jump and 800 meter race. He also served as a Sports Medicine Assistant Trainer at the high school.

Clay was always willing to give of himself for others. He was an enthusiastic participant in the Backpack Buddies program, which is an inter-faith organization that provides food to the needy. He also recently helped package food for the Stop Hunger Now program. Clay could always be counted on to help people in need.

Clay was a member of the C3 Church of Clayton.

Preceding Clay in death was his grandmother, Maxine Harbick.

Survivors include his parents, ML and Frank; brothers Garrett White, Ryan Johnson and Derek Johnson; grandparents William and Rebecca Johnson and Robert Harbick, aunts Cyndi Harbick, Sandra Harbick, Amanda Johnson and Tammy Houghton and uncles Paul Houghton and Robert Harbick; a host of other relatives and countless friends.

The legacy Clay leaves is one of a young man who helped those less fortunate than him. He gave generously of his time to his friends and family. He took pride in his scholastic and athletic accomplishments, but he demonstrated sincere humility at all times. He was a devoted and loyal friend to many. Clay is most often remembered as a good natured person who was quick to laugh and always had a smile on his face.

Services will be held Saturday, April 5 at 4 PM in the Chapel of McLaurin Funeral Home. Visitation will immediately follow the service.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the: Clay Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o North Johnston High School 5915 US 301 N Kenly, NC 27542.

Online condolences may be made to the Johnson family at

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