Jim Johnson was born May 16, 1935 in Limestone County to Leland Morgan Johnson and Evie Landers Johnson. He graduated from Butler High School in 1953 and was inducted into the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He served time in San Antonio, Texas and Labrador, Newfoundland. When he was discharged, he went to work at Redstone Arsenal in Communications where he worked directly for Dr. Werner von Braun sending classified messages. He graduated from Athens College in 1968. He then worked for Brown Engineering and Computer Sciences Corporation. After that he opened and ran Athens Insurance Center until his retirement.
A very talented individual, Johnson started playing fast pitch softball while in San Antonio and when he moved home to Athens he started pitching for Farm Industries. He then started playing for United Surgical Steel in Montgomery. There he led his team all the way to Stockton, CA where they won the Nationals in 1979 and was named All-American and MVP. Jim is listed on 5 Halls of Fame. The first is in Montgomery by the Blue-Gray Softball Association's Hall of Fame where he was cited for striking out 15 batters in a row and credited with 42 wins during various Blue-Gray Tournaments and was clocked there throwing the softball at 98 MPH. He is also listed in the HOF in Panama City, FL, and Bakersville, CA. He was inducted into the Limestone County HOF in June 2010 and the Madison County HOF in April 2011.
When his ball-playing days were over, he concentrated on his love of music, playing in several bands. He could play almost any instrument but his love was the Steel Guitar.
He played with Bill Greene and the Country Edition where they won first place at the Tennessee Valley Jamboree in Lawrenceburg, TN two years in a row.
He is survived by two children, Jan Johnson Sheets of Athens and James Bradley Johnson, Jr. and wife Sharon of Hampton Cove, AL and his Children's mother, Betty Jenkins Johnson of Athens.
He is also survived by 3 grandchildren, Laura Elizabeth Lott of Montgomery, C. Michelle Lott, of Birmingham, and Faith Caroline Johnson of Hampton Cove, AL. One sister, Jean Johnson Walters of Bristow, VA and one brother, Don Johnson and wife Catherine of Athens and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and six brothers: Stanley, Bob, Buck, Frank, Charles and Doug and three sisters: Margaret J. Sanders, Jewell J. Smith and Eunice J. Richardson.
McConnell Funeral Home will be conducting a graveside service Monday, August 14, 2017 at Limestone Memorial Gardens at 12 noon.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Alzheimers Disease Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871.
Published on August 14, 2017