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John Benton Johnson

January 27, 1930 - May 1, 2021

John Benton Johnson passed away peacefully on May 1st, 2021 in his Virginia Beach home at the age of 91.  He was born and raised in Rocky Mount, NC on January 27th, 1930.  He was the son of Leslie Pierce Johnson Sr and Kathleen Benton Johnson.

John graduated from Rock Mount High School in 1948. As a hardworking man he helped work in his family’s grocery store, had an after school job at a bank in Rocky Mount and then enlisted in the Airforce on September 9 1948 and served in active duty until September 1949. Afterwards, he attended East Carolina Teachers College in the ROTC program as 2nd Lieutenant until his graduation on May 19th, 1952.  He continued to serve in the U.S. Airforce until honorably discharged in July of 1961 as a 1st Lieutenant. John was proud to be a United States Veteran.

John had a successful career with Burroughs/Unisys Corp. for 30 years. After his retirement, he continued to work in various jobs. Finance and sales were his strongpoints

He was predeceased by his parents, his siblings; Kathleen Thurman, Nancy Fowler, Marguerite Johnson and Leslie P Johnson. Jr.

He leaves to cherish his memory Betty Paige Johnson, his wife of 24 years, his sister Martha Strange (Edward), his daughters; Joan Peterson and Karen Xavier, his step-daughters; Raelynn (Tim) Ragle, Dana Mims and Bobbi (John) Debski, his (13) Grandchildren; Benjamin, Christopher, Brett, Brook, Christen, Timothy, Andrew, Helen, Ben, Amanda, Shelby, Brice and Trevor his (8) Great Grandchildren and his (3) nieces. This explains why he was frequently called “Papa John”

John spread the word of his Christian faith through singing.  He participated in several church choirs throughout his life, the Methodist Men Choir and the Beach Tones.  He loved to learn and teach about his lord Jesus by leading Sunday school classes and even delivering a few sermons when called upon to do so.

In his spare time John loved to build trains, work in the garden with his wife, play games (such as Karob) with family and friends and volunteer at Christian Embassy International.

His passion was Airplanes and Sailing.  He did not miss many local air shows and even fulfilled an item on his bucket list by attending the huge annual air show “EAA Airventure” in Osh Kosh, WI with a life-long friend.

John (Johnny) or (Papa John) did not know a stranger! He loved people and was known for his socializing.

The family would like to thank the staff of Westminster Canterbury Rehabilitation and Hospice Team for their care and attention to John and Betty during his illness.

There will be a “Celebration of Life Service” held in Christian Embassy International Church at 1208 Centerville Turnpike N, Chesapeake, VA  23320 on June 26th, 2021 at 11:00 am.  The family asks that in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Association. https://www.alz.org/     or to Christian Embassy International Church https://ceicva.org/.

Service Information

Service Information

Date: Saturday, June 26, 2021

Time: 11:00 am

Celebration of Life

Christian Embassy International Church

1208 Centerville Turnpike

Chesapeake, VA 23320


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