James (“Jim, Brother or Rock”) McDaniel Johnson, 82, of Dunn, North Carolina died on August 19th in Asheville, North Carolina. He was the youngest child of Nathan Manly Johnson, Sr. and Elizabeth (“Bessie”) Denning Johnson of Dunn.
He is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of fifty nine years, Elizabeth (“Betty”) Morrison Johnson, four children, Elizabeth (“Lisa”) Johnson Bondurant (Stuart) of Atlanta, Georgia, James Morrison Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona, Laura Johnson Frey (Jim) of Putney, Vermont, and Allen McDaniel Johnson of High Point, North Carolina. He is also survived by eight grandchildren whom he loved dearly, Will, Ben, Beth and James (“Bear”) Bondurant, Katherine Frey Ellison (Nichol), Maya Johnson, Grant Johnson and Morgan McDaniel Johnson; a sister, Jackie Johnson Bissette, sisters in law, Helen Soutter and Jane Waddell, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He graduated from Dunn High School in 1950, Davidson College in 1954 and The University of North Carolina Law School in 1957. He was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in August of 1957 and practiced briefly before serving as a legal officer in the Army Judge Advocate Generals Corp. He was released from active duty in the fall of 1959 and returned home to resume his law practice and to participate in the management of his father’s business, Johnson Cotton Company and later Johnson Stores. He practiced law in Dunn from 1959 until retirement in July of 2014.
Jim was active in the civic affairs of Dunn and Harnett County. He served as Chair of the Dunn United Fund Campaign in 1960, and as Chair in numerous other charitable fund drives in Dunn and Harnett County. From 1959 through 1968, he served gratuitously as counsel to the Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital, a local charitable hospital founded by his father and named in memory of his grandmother.
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He was an avid private pilot and a charter member of the Harnett County Airport Committee that was charged with the responsibility of developing an airport for Harnett County. He was instrumental in securing the original airport site for the airport by private purchase rather than by condemnation proceedings.
He was also active in the affairs of his profession. He was a President and member of the Harnett County Bar Association and Vice President of the 11th Judicial District Bar. He served for six years as a member of the North Carolina State Bar Council and for fourteen years as a member of the 11th Judicial Bar Review.
Jim was a devoted and life-long member of the Divine Street United Methodist Church. At Divine Street, he served as legal counsel, Sunday School Teacher, Usher, Chair of the Church Council, several terms as a member of the Board of Trustees and as the initial Chair of the Endowment Fund.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Divine Street United Methodist Church, 400 West Divine Street in Dunn, with Reverend Beth Gaines officiating. The family will greet friends and family at their home, 907 W. Pearsall Street, following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a contribution to Divine Street Methodist Church or a charity or educational institution of your choice.