In celebration of the life of Thomas Edison “Tip” Johnson
Thomas Edison “Tip” Johnson, born on January 26th, 1950, in Bainbridge, Georgia, transitioned from his physical form on September 9th, 2023, in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was the son of Lillian Tucker and Jasper Johnson, both of whom preceded him in death.
“Tip,” as he was affectionately known, earned his nickname due to the distinctive way he walked, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew him. He not only made strides in life but also left an impression that was uniquely his own.
Thomas proudly served in the United States Army, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to his country. As a young adult, he bravely fought fires as a firefighter until hip problems compelled him to change his path. He embarked on a long and fruitful career as a civil servant, where he made a lasting impact in the office of Internal Audit and finally as the Director of Public Works & Physical Services for the city of Hartford, Connecticut.
A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc., Thomas embodied the values of leadership and community service. His educational journey led him to the halls of UCONN in Connecticut, where he cultivated a lifelong passion for the Huskies, particularly the women's basketball team.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Thomas found joy in golfing, a love that took root at Keney Park in Hartford, Connecticut. His commitment to this sport mirrored his dedication to excellence in all aspects of life. “Tip” also had a keen interest in computers and gadgets, always at the forefront of technology. He was the family’s go-to guru for staying on the cutting edge of innovation.
Thomas was a distinguished example of intelligence and articulation, possessing a mental fortitude that inspired all who were fortunate enough to cross his path. Physically and mentally strong, he faced numerous health challenges with unwavering determination. Having a fused hip, being a double amputee, and a transplant recipient of a kidney that was later rejected were but a few of the obstacles he overcame. For nearly two decades, he endured the rigors of dialysis and more, showcasing a resilience that was nothing short of remarkable.
In addition to his exceptional strength, Thomas possessed a deep love for people and an unshakable belief in justice. His unwavering dedication to fighting for those who were unable to defend themselves, embodied the spirit of compassion and advocacy.
Quick-witted and a masterful storyteller, “Tip” could captivate any audience with his tales, leaving laughter and wisdom in his wake. His stories were a testament to the richness of his experiences and the depth of his character.
But what brought the most pride and joy to his heart was his family, with his beloved grandchildren at the helm. Each of them carried a piece of his legacy into the world, and they were the source of his deepest pride and joy.
Imani’s educational and career triumphs, along with her spiritual maturity, reflect the values he held dear.
Christian’s unwavering commitment to the earth and all living things, as he pursues his dream of becoming the family’s first doctor—a veterinarian—warmed his grandfather’s heart.
Sydney’s astute focus on academic excellence mirrors his own dedication to knowledge.
Kennedy’s artistic prowess and creative flair are a testament to the artistic sensibilities they both shared.
Tyler’s clever wit and athletic abilities showcase the importance of camaraderie and teamwork, values that Thomas held close.
And Ma’at’s destiny to live out the meaning in the origin of her name as the Egyptian Goddess of truth, justice, order, and balance, resonated deeply with her grandfather’s belief in fairness and equity.
Thomas Edison Johnson’s life was one marked by dedication, service, and love, as well as a steadfast commitment to his spiritual walk and love of God. He leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire and touch the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him. May he rest in eternal peace.
Family was at the core of Thomas’s life. He is survived by his two daughters, Kendra C. Johnson of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Melanie (Shaun) Hyatt of Olive Branch, Mississippi, born from his enduring 40-year marriage to Susie Ann
Strong Johnson. Their bond, though their paths diverged, remains eternally significant.
He is also survived by his maternal sister, Joyce “Delta” Brown of Springfield, Massachusetts, paternal sister, Anita Johnson Blankenship (Tim) of Duluth, Georgia, paternal brothers, Gerald K. Johnson (Rhonda) of Stockbridge, Georgia and Jerome E. Johnson of Riverdale, Georgia and is preceded in death by his maternal brother, Horace “Goat” Godbalt, maternal step-brother, Robert Lee Johnson and paternal sister Cynthia Johnson Colbert.
Thomas is remembered with love by a myriad of cousins, family, and friends who were touched by his kindness and unique genius throughout his life. His engaging tales of life, love mischief and adventure will live on through his family for generations to come.
Though the storms kept on raging in his life and sometimes it was hard to tell the night from day. That hope that lied within was reassured, as he kept his eyes upon the distant shore. He knew God would lead him safely to that blessed place, He had prepared. Even when the storms didn't cease and when the final wind blew through his life, we find peace and comfort in knowing Thomas Edison Johnson... Dad... Papa... Kool Papa T... Tip’s soul, was truly anchored in the Lord.