James Grant Johnson, age 68, of Marion, NC passed away Tuesday 8/11/2020 at CHS-Blue Ridge Morganton due to COVID19. James was born on 9/14/1951 to the late Mack and Sally Johnson.
He was preceded in death in addition to his parents by his sister, Patricia Buchanan, brother Doyle Johnson, and grandson Edge James Shelton.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 49 years, Rose Carswell Johnson, daughters Dr. Briana Shelton (Joel) and Wendy Johnson, granddaughter. Erin Shelton, brother David Johnson (Robin), and sister Ruth McCourry (Don). He left behind a multitude of special friends, extended family members, and colleagues at work.
James was a restaurant owner for many years and an expert butcher, having worked at many meat markets and trained many people in the art of cutting meat. The restaurant, Lloyd's Steaks and More, he co-owned with his good friend, Tommie Johnson, was the last place he worked. He went in everyday and cut the meat fresh so that the steaks and burgers would be the best. He recently won the best steaks of the county contest. He made sure everything in his restaurant was the cleanest possible and did not stop until it was. James always enjoyed meeting his customers and making sure they were taken of. He never met a stranger and often would get carried away in conversation. He was the life of the party and could talk about anything to anyone anywhere. He liked keeping busy and working hard everyday and never chose to retire and take it easy. Over the years, he played football and softball and coached rec basketball and softball. At one time, he even helped at a pro football kicking camp in Ft. Lauderdale. James graduated from Marion High School and during school worked hard driving the school bus, selling newspapers, and mowing grass to support his Mom and Dad. He would go in early to school on cold days to get the coal in the stove so there would be heat to others. He worked hard for every dollar he had. James loved bowling on his team and had lots of fun winning gold medals in many events at the annual Senior Games. He was competitive in games and joining his granddaughter, Erin, won the first annual Glenwood corn hole tournament. He also helped Rose win the McDowell County chili cook-off several times. James was a big McDowell High Titan football supporter and rarely missed a game. He was looking forward to seeing his granddaughter Erin cheer this year for the Titans. His swimming pool was always kept sparkling clean so that friends could enjoy it anytime while he was at work. Every year, James helped his wife decorate the front yard for Christmas so kids and adults could enjoy them as they drove by. He loved giving out plenty of candy to kids at Halloween. He always had something fun to say and had big dreams and ideas. At the annual family Thanksgiving meal, he never failed to add in, “bless the meat, bless the kin, everyone sit down and dig in.” He was a huge supporter of the troops and often fed families of deployed military free if they needed it. Several times he was recognized by the military as a top supporter and actually won a special award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Our Daddy was a superman. Although, he worked full time, he still found time for all of the above, while also picking up his granddaughter at school, taking many friends and family to doctor's appointments and chemotherapy, mowing grass for friends, fixing things for anyone whether it be cars/plumbing/pools/heat pumps, etc..., dog sat, baby sat, stained decks, helped put flooring and tile in the vision center, cooked delicious breakfast and/or dinner at home and often sending food to Briana for her family. His joy was making the most special pancakes and omelets for Erin. He was a caregiver to many friends and family in their last days of their lives. Never did he ask for any credit for the things he did. He just liked helping others. He would offer to help anyone for anything if he could and if not, he always knew the right person to get the job done. James always felt it was important to be there for people he knew and never missed a funeral, wedding, family or high school reunion. In the rare moments he could relax, he liked to watch college basketball, especially the Tar Heels, football, and golf. He would sit on the couch and watch TV, while hanging out with his dog, Bobo, whom he loved dearly. He was a second Dad and Grandpa to many and often offered up a room in the house for anyone who needed it temporarily. He loved his brother David and many days they would be seen running around town getting supplies to fix things for whoever needed it. He loved his son-in-law, Joel, and always knew Joel would take care of Briana and Erin like he did for his family. He loved Joel's family like his own. He always told Joel he wanted to show him how to cut meat like he did. James also shared many fun times with his in-laws and always helped Rose's Dad kill a hog on the farm for the holidays. He loved going to all of his granddaughter Erin's events whether it be ballgames, dance, cheer, or academic related. He loved her so much and was so proud of her. He picked her up from school everyday and would actually switch cars before picking her up just so she would be in the safest car possible. He kept her supplied in old coins and in prizes he won in the claw machine, which he was the master at no matter where he was. A few months ago, he helped Erin paint her room. He was also proud of his daughter, Briana, for becoming an eye doctor and being a success with her business, Professional Vision Center. He told everyone he came in contact with about her and always told them to get their eyes checked and jokingly told them to ask for the “family” discount. When Briana was accepted to college, he sold his 1959 Corvette to help pay for her studies. Even though he was the steak master, he always said Briana marinated and grilled the best rib-eye he had ever ate. James was also very proud of his daughter Wendy. He always called her the informer because she always kept him up to date with things going on. In January, he helped plan and cook for her 40th birthday at his restaurant. He saw her as successful at her job, having many friends, a crafter always painting things, making things, and she even tie-dyed him a mask just recently. He saw her as a big helper at home. Even in his last days at home, she was helping him.
Most of all he loved his wife Rose. They would have had their 50th year wedding anniversary this November 22. He vowed to provide and care for her all the days of his life and he did that. They shared many fun times, raised two daughters and had many trips with them, visited friends and family all the time, always had special birthday dinners out, and worked hard making their yard look good with flowers and decorations. Rose loved him with all her heart. She supported all of his big dreams and helped him in everything. She can remember so many special times. She knows she will be with him again one day in heaven and oh, what a day that will be.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Beam Funeral Service. Interment will follow at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery in Morganton. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., prior to the service at the funeral home.
The family would like to thank everyone for the prayers and help during this tough time. Memorials and cards can be sent to 634 Lytle Mountain Rd., Marion, NC 28752.
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