Treasured brother, uncle and granduncle John Patrick Johnson was carried to Heaven on April 9. After suffering cardiac arrest March 28, John stayed on Earth while family members prayed, played his favorite music, shared stories and rejoiced his life—some at his bedside, some in spirit. He was 61.
“He was carried away on the wings of prayer by all who loved him dearly,” said his only brother, Henry C. Johnson of La Mesa, Ca. “Go in peace beloved brother, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest in Heaven and into the arms of Mom and Dad, who were guiding you Home.”
Born Aug. 10, 1955 in Baton Rouge, La., John was the fifth born among eight siblings. He was preceded in death by his father, Tracey Carlisle Johnson, 91, a retired Navy lieutenant commander and engineer, and mother, Maria Leonor Lopez Johnson, 80, who helped to raise their children while her husband’s career took the family to many locations.
John lived in Honduras, the Philippines; Monterey, Ca.; New Orleans, La.; Vallejo, Ca.; Cypress, Ca.; Port Hueneme, Ca.; before his family settled in San Diego in 1969. As an adult, El Cajon became his home base.
Growing up, John excelled in sports, and was a power hitter on his junior high school baseball team. While attending Clairemont High School he worked with electronics at Sony Corp. and took up the guitar, graduating in 1973.
His family remembered the great courage John displayed battling mental illness: “Even when the demons of life and his inner pain manifested themselves, his humor shone through, along with the love of great music that we shared,” said his niece, Stephanie M. Delrow of Seattle, Wash.
Music gave John joy and peace, and for many years he carried a boom box playing, among his favorites, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Eagles.
His niece Catherine E. Berg of Vancouver, Wash., remembered his hearty laugh; his brother recalled that when he smiled, his inner light and charisma radiated. His sister, Patricia A. Johnson of San Diego, emphasized his devout faith in Jesus Christ. John carried a pocket Bible with him always. He focused on the timeless poetry depicting the innermost feelings, fears and hopes of humankind found in the Psalms.
Everyone remembered his peerless wit.
“The borderline between brilliance and utter despair is a very precarious and fine line,” said his brother-in-law Michael W. Berg of Vancouver, Wash.
His funeral took place on Easter Sunday, which commemorated the day of his mother’s death in 2004. His sister Carolyn L. Rubin of Long Beach, Ca., sang the iconic song illustrating belief in a more wondrous place, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. His sister Maria C. Johnson of Tampa, Fla., ended the ceremony by playing Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky.
John is also survived by his sister Jennifer M. Berg of Vancouver, Wash.; Catherine’s children Jackson and Leo Berg Batres; Elizabeth A. Johnson, her husband Michael Moyneur, their son Ryan, daughter Lauren, son Nicholas, his wife, Julie, their children Sophie, Michael and Patrick Johnson-Moyneur of St. Louis, Mo., and son Dylan Johnson-Moyneur of Denver, Colo.
Also sister Pamela J. Johnson and her partner Jay E. Christensen of Sherman Oaks, Ca.; Carolyn’s husband Bill Rubin, her daughter Natalie M. Inouye and husband Steven, their children Hanzo and Sloane of Long Beach, Ca; Maria’s sons Drew Lynch of Orlando, Fla. and Connor Lynch of Tallahassee, Fla.; Henry’s wife Patricia A. MacInnes-Johnson of La Mesa, Ca.; and Stephanie’s husband Jeffrey Delrow of Seattle, Wash.
John was laid to rest overlooking a serene duck pond next to the gravesites of his mother and father at El Camino Memorial Park with the etched words of Psalm 23:6: Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
- Date: April 16, 2017
- Location: El Camino Memorial Park
- Address: 5600 Carroll Canyon Rd. San Diego CA
- Directions: El Camino Memorial Park