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Obituary for Richard Johnson
Posted by: jgmcfps
Date: March 14, 2008 05:56AM
Richard married Barbara Lassiter on June 18, 1954, in Richmond, Va., while in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Lee during the Korean Conflict. Richard, following in his father's footsteps, was a firefighter for over 25 years with the City of Memphis, retiring as the deputy chief fire marshall. Richard dedicated his life to the service of others, teaching at the National Fire Academy in Emittsburg, Md., as the supervisor of Prevention Series, where he wrote and published multiple student and instructor manuals.
Richard was the assistant commissioner and state fire marshall for the Department of Commerce and Insurance for the State of Tennessee. Richard was also the fire chief for the Conway Volunteer Fire Department. Richard continued to work as an adjunct professor at the National Fire Academy until he was hospitalized in February. He has taught over 10,000 students during his career from all over the United States and abroad. Richard was very proud of the fact that he never ran late for work in his entire career. Richard was a 32nd Degree Master Mason and a Shriner in the Scottish Rite, O.K. Hauck Lodge in Memphis, Tenn.
Richard will be sadly missed by his family, many friends and fellow firefighters. Richard loved to spend time with his grandchildren and family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, J.D. and Hattie Mae Johnson; a brother, J.D. Johnson of Calais, Maine; and great- grandchildren, Addison Ladd Knight and twins, Hannah Grace and Elijah James Knight.
He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Barbara Lassiter Johnson of Conway; two daughters, Jeffrelyn Johnson Arterburn and her husband, Dennis, of Moscow, Tenn., and Regina Johnson Jared and her husband, Steve, of Rocky Mount; five grandchildren, Dr. Wendy Jared Knight and her husband, Jim, of Washington, D.C., Denise Arterburn Phillips and her husband, Capt. Kevin Phillips of the United States Air Force of Columbus, Miss., Michael David Arterburn of Moscow, Richard Gordon Jared of Greenville and Gary Stephen Jared Jr. of Rocky Mount; two great-grandchildren, Tyler William Phillips of Columbus and Ella Grace Knight of Washington, D.C.; one sister, Peg Kellum and her husband, Jim, of Nesbit, Miss.; two brothers-in-law, Wilton Lassiter of Raleigh and Joe Lassiter and his wife, Myrna, of Ocean Beach, Ore.; one sister-in-law, Peggy Johnson of Calais, Maine; and nieces and nephews, Ron Lassiter and his wife, Lisa, of Wendell, B.J. and Jennifer Johnson of Calais and Eric Johnson of Fayetteville, Ark.
The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, March 14, at Bridgers Funeral Home Inc. in Conway, which is handling the arrangements.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 15, at Zion United Methodist Church, Zion Church Road, Conway, with the Rev. Sidney Collins officiating. Burial will follow in the Town of Conway Cemetery.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to share a memorial gift to please do so to Caring House, 2625 Pickett Road, Durham NC 27705, where Richard received outstanding care during his time in Durham.
James G. Munger, PhD, FIFireE, CFPS