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Johnny B. Johnson was a family man whose treasure hunts entertained his children

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 7:36 p.m. CDT; updated 8:41 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 6, 2014

COLUMBIA — Johnny Johnson loved making treasure hunts for his children. After they started hiding his cigarettes to get him to stop smoking, Mr. Johnson started setting up his own treasure hunts for his them.

"He was a jokester and very comical," his daughter Kimberly Kelley said.

Johnny B. Johnson of Columbia died Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, at Boone Hospital. He was 66.

He was born Oct. 7, 1948, in Ripley, Miss., to Charlie and Minnie Johnson.

Mr. Johnson moved to Columbia when he was 8 years old and eventually raised his own family in the community.

Every year, Mr. Johnson would take his children to the Boone County Fair. He loved spending that time with his family by walking around the fair, going on rides and eating corn dogs, Kelley said.

After working for MU Campus Facilities for 35 years, Mr. Johnson was happy to retire because he had more time to travel to visit family in his hometown in Mississippi.

Mr. Johnson was a family man who loved family activities such as barbecues with the grandchildren, his older daughter Sarah Tabe said.

Aside from his regular treasure hunts, Mr. Johnson also loved deer hunting and fishing, his son, John Johnson Jr., said.

"The first time he took me hunting, he told me that I had two shots to get a rabbit," John Johnson Jr. said, laughing gently. "I missed and I had to watch the rest of the day."

Both Kelley and Tabe said their favorite memory of their father was when he walked each of them down the aisle.

"It was important because I shared the moment with my father," Kelley said.

Mr. Johnson is survived by a son, John Johnson, of Columbia; two daughters, Sarah Tabe and Kimberly Kelley, and her husband, Vonzell, all three of Kansas City; a brother, Fred Johnson, and his wife, Sarah Miller, of Columbia; a sister-in-law, Allean Johnson, of Columbia; eleven grandchildren, Anastacia Carter, Kimberly Tabe, DeOntay Counce, JonDale Johnson, Marquail Johnson, Zana Churchill Johnson, RaZhon Churchill Johnson, DaJha Kelley, Vonzell Kelley III, Shayquila Heath and Arious Heath; two great-grandchildren, Charles Carter III and Amauri Coleman; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Two brothers, Frankie Johnson and Earl Johnson; three sisters, Joann Ndivo, Dorothy Johnson and Pearlie Warren; and a nephew, Earnest James Warren Jr., died earlier.

Visitation will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Service will follow at 11 a.m. at the same location. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.


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