November 1, 1932 - June 20, 2021
William Richard Johnson (Billy) died suddenly June 20, 2021 at Forrest General Hospital. Billy was born Nov 1, 1932 in Ripley, MS to Marvin and Jesse Johnson. Billy moved from Ripley in 1953 due to the activation of Camp Shelby as a National Guard Training site. He had served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was recruited by Col. Claud Daniel to come to Hattiesburg and work for the CMS shop. He retired from Camp Shelby in 1978 but returned to work for the state as a technician for Post Engineers. During his time at Camp Shelby he remained in the National Guard and retired in 1985 after 36 years of service. In 1978 Billy and Annie, Kathy and Wendy’s mother, purchased 401 Bay St. They turned the damaged, weed infested, 5 apartment house back into a single-family home. They travelled extensively searching for the architectural pieces necessary to restore the home and furniture Billy could use his woodworking skills on to make beautiful. They worked on the home until her death in 1985. In 1986 Billy met Lynn Brown and for 4 years they discussed the merits of remarrying before finally coming to an agreement in 1990. For the next 31 years Billy taught Lynn how to restore furniture and cane chairs. Lynn taught Billy how to live in the country in Moselle and sit on the porch in his rocker. In Moselle they built Billy his dream workshop and he continued his hobby of woodworking. He was a master craftsman who either restored antiques or built beautiful pieces of furniture. Billy always said he was a jack of all trades but a master of none. He was a plumber, electrician and HVAC repairman, though only on his equipment or those of his friends. As a woodworker he produced many fine pieces of furniture both for family and friends, though he also sold some. He was also a master of the lathe and he gave away many turnings to people across the country. Billy was known to many as a friend who would always say “what can I do to help?” He is survived by his wife Dorris (Lynn) Brown-Johnson, daughters Kathy Johnson Fain (David), Wendy Johnson Morgan (Frank) and son James A Brown (Ali), granddaughters, Laura Fain, Leanna Fain, Jessica Morgan (Drew) and Ashlyn Brown, grandsons Christopher Fain and John August Brown (Ciera), sister Lois Clark (Don). He also leaves nephews Johnny Wilbanks (Cathy), Richard Clark (Jan), Wesley Clark (Pam), nieces Sandra Drewery (Eddie), Donita House (David), Glenda Pearson and a number of great nieces and nephews. He is proceeded in death by Kathy and Wendy’s mother Annie Lee Johnson, his parents and sisters Bobbie Johnson and Betty Wilbanks. Visitation will be Wednesday June 23 from 4-5:30pm with a celebration of Billy’s life to follow in the Moore Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be Friday, June 25 at Tippah County Memorial Gardens in Ripley, MS. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby.
William Richard Johnson (Billy) died suddenly June 20, 2021 at Forrest General Hospital. Billy was born Nov 1, 1932 in Ripley, MS to Marvin and Jesse Johnson. Billy moved from Ripley in 1953 due to the activation of Camp Shelby as a National... View Obituary & Service Information
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