James "Jim" Charles Johnson, a beloved husband, grandfather, teacher, friend, passed away peacefully on January 25, 2024. His unwavering dedication to his family, his commitment to hard work, and his warm and welcoming personality touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him. Two words that best describe Jim are "Wit and Wisdom".
Born on June 20, 1947, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, Jim was the loving son of Herbert and Louycette (Kizer) Johnson.
Jim's career was marked by an unmatched work ethic and a deep sense of responsibility towards his loved ones. He met his forever love, Karen, at Malvern High School the first week she was a student teacher. They were married ten months later. Jim's roles included serving as a dedicated high school teacher and principal. He also worked tirelessly at Entergy as a Customer Service Manager before dedicating himself to academia as a professor at Arkansas State University Three Rivers and National Park College.
Jim's thirst for knowledge knew no bounds; he was an avid reader who devoured over 200 books annually. but, his favorite book was the Bible. His insatiable curiosity fueled his intellectual prowess and bestowed upon him a wealth of wisdom. Jim was heralded as the smartest man by those around him, and his intelligence extended beyond academic pursuits. He possessed both book smarts and street smarts, making him not only an extraordinary teacher, but also a role model for others.
While Jim's professional life was impressive, it was the memories created with family and friends that truly reveal the essence of this exceptional man. One notable memory is the old, green '69 GMC truck. Both daughters drove it during high school and he recently gave it to his grandson, Drew. Drew gave Pops his last ride in it just a few weeks ago.
Avid travelers throughout their 50-year marriage, Jim and Karen journeyed together across more than 50 countries and visited every state in the United States. Each adventure brought them closer together and enriched their lives with priceless experiences.
More than his accomplishments, it was Jim's character that left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who crossed his path. Those fortunate enough to know him speak of his unwavering integrity, his willingness to lend an ear and offer sound advice, and his open-hearted hospitality. Jim's home was never simply a house; it was a warm sanctuary where friends and strangers alike were always welcomed with open arms.
Family members who preceded Jim in death and who will welcome Jim into their arms are his parents, Herbert and Louycette Johnson; and brother Dr. Herb Johnson.
Jim's passing is mourned deeply by his beloved wife of 50 years, Karen Johnson of Benton, Arkansas. Together, they built a partnership defined by love, shared adventures, and unwavering support for one another. In addition to Karen, he leaves behind cherished memories within the hearts of his daughters: Keesha Johnson of Bryant, Arkansas and her fiancé Michael Frazier of Bentonville, Arkansas, and Kimbra Johnson Horner and her husband Travis of Benton, Arkansas. His grandson, Drew Bryant of Bryant, Arkansas, holds fond memories of their time together. He also leaves behind a bonus granddaughter, Madie Horner of Cabot, Arkansas.
Jim's influence extended beyond immediate family. He leaves behind two sisters: Sharon Gallip and her husband Dale of Fishkill, New York; Melody Rubie and her husband Peter of New York City, New York; as well as sisters-in-law Pat Johnson of Aberdeen, Washington and Gayle Wixson and her husband Terry of Corsicana, Texas; nieces and nephews: Lee, Joel, and Teryin Wixson of Texas, Nathan and Kirsten Johnson of Washington, and Benjamin Rubie of New York. He had many friends including his New Life Church family and small group, Faith Walkers, who were blessed to have known him. Especially close to Jim and Karen are special traveling friends Brenda Gills and Sam Bray.
James "Jim" Charles Johnson will be remembered as a pillar of strength, kindness, wisdom, and love. His impact on the lives he touched will resonate for generations to come. As we bid farewell to this extraordinary man with heavy hearts, we find solace in the knowledge that his spirit lives on through the memories, stories, and lessons he shared with us all. Rest in peace, dear Jim, knowing that you will be forever missed and eternally cherished.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 28, from 2:00-4:00 PM, at Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Funeral service, officiated by Pastor Chad Denmon and Pastor Tracy Shelton, will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, January 29, at Smith-Benton Funeral Home. A private burial will be held at Pinecrest Memorial Park.
Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook: www.SmithFamilyCares.com.