Chris E. JohnsonPublished 10:00pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Tryon, N.C. – After a battle with Alzheimer’s and a brief illness, Chris Johnson passed away at the Hospice House in Landrum, S.C. April 21, 2014. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Elmer and Mary Foster Johnson, and siblings Valerie London, Ruth Tezza, James E. Johnson II, and Dean Johnson. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Eloise Thompson Johnson of Tryon, daughter and son-in-law Bob and Christa Johnson Whittaker of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., son Damon Johnson of Shelby N.C., and granddaughters Helena Whittaker of Orlando, Fla., Sydney Whittaker of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Taytem and Maggie Johnson of Columbus, N.C., and siblings Patricia Martin and Clark Johnson of Maryland, and Gail Null of Charlotte.
Chris was born and raised in Polk County, graduated from Tryon High School in 1954 and attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
After starting his teaching career in Eastern N.C., he taught in Tryon Schools from 1966 to 1992, teaching several generations, and leaving a lasting legacy as an educator and mentor. In addition to teaching, he drove a school bus for most of his career, logging perhaps thousands of miles all across Polk County. He served as president of the Polk County Jaycees and was a past member of Jeff L. Nelson Lodge.
Chris will be remembered for his love of life and sense of humor. He was an avid gardener and loved to share his bounty with friends and family. He lived a rich and full life and thoroughly enjoyed his retirement, traveling with his wife to all fifty states and delighting in his four granddaughters,
Chris wished for no funeral or memorial service because he only wanted to be remembered with laughter and joy, so the family is honoring his request.
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 31 College Place, Suite D320, Asheville, N.C. 28801-2644 or to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Dr. Columbus, N.C. 28722.