Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

May 18, 2013

William Henry Johnson II

SAVANNAH, Ga. — William Henry Johnson, II, 87, born February 26, 1926 to the late William Henry Johnson and Loena Conner Johnson White, passed away peacefully in Savannah, GA on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. He was preceded in death by his brother, Edward Jackson Johnson of Athens, WV.

William is survived by three sons and (daughters-in-law), William H., III (Jane) of Lexington, KY, Mark B. (Peggy) of Savannah, GA, and Paul D. (Angela) of Marion, AL. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Christie, Arthur, Madeline and Olivia.  

Bill was born in Princeton, WV where his father worked for the Railway Express Agency and his mother worked as a church secretary. Bill excelled in school both athletically and academically. He was a star member of the 1943 Princeton High School Tigers runner-up State Championship basketball team and was also the President of his 1943 Senior Class. He received athletic scholarships to West Virginia University (WVU) where he played center on the basketball team and tackle on the Mountaineers' football team while maintaining academic excellence receiving his Phi Beta Kappa key and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in January 1949. His most famous football moment came in the fall of '44 when WVU defeated Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania. With WVU defending on its own 7 yard line late in the 4th quarter, he recovered a Penn State fumble to win the game. The victory at State College was repeated by only two other WVU teams in the long history of the rivalry, which ceased in 1992. Bill was also a member of the Alpha Theta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. His college education was interrupted when he served the post-WWII occupational force in the Army in the 350th Infantry, 88th Div. ETO, 5 Army NATO, WVANG & ORC. He served in Italy but also played basketball for the US Army in Europe.

In 1947 he married Elizabeth Ann Baber in Morgantown, and was employed as an accountant for the local Ford automobile dealership. He was then offered a position with Mathieson Chemical Company in Morgantown which would become a lifelong career. In 1955, his work transferred him to the Olin-Mathieson corporate offices in Baltimore, MD and the family settled in Catonsville, MD. They joined the Christian Temple Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Catonsville. In 1959, Bill was transferred to the Olin-Mathieson Chemical Plant near Brandenburg, KY where the family would make their home and become members of Brandenburg United Methodist Church. Bill had a passion for golf and was involved in the design of the Hillcrest Country Club's golf course. He also enjoyed volunteer coaching Little League football and serving as a scoutmaster. In 1964, Bill became an Accounting Engineer working for Olin's corporate offices in Stamford, CT but retained residence in Brandenburg.

Bill retired from Olin in 1985 and in retirement split his time between Brandenburg and Sun City, AZ where he continued his love of golf, was a member of the United States Golf Association and worked as a PGA Marshall for the Phoenix Open. He studied Native American lifestyle, art and culture and took many sight-seeing trips in the desert southwest.  

In 2000 he returned to Brandenburg to live full time until advancing Alzheimer's disease required his relocation to Marshview Retirement Community in Savannah, GA in late 2006. He later moved to Shadowmoss Plantation Alzheimer's Care Facility where he resided until his death.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 10 a.m. at First Christian Church, Princeton, WV. A graveside service will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park, Princeton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 6100 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, KY 40205.

Fairhaven Funeral Home of Savannah is in charge of arrangements.

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