Theodore Johnson, Sr., age 102, of Red Bank, NJ passed peacefully on October 4, 2021. Born on August 23, 1919, in Fort Mitchell, Alabama, Theodore was the son of the late Rosine and Anna (Lindsay) Johnson.
Theodore attended the public school of Fort Mitchell, Alabama, where he excelled academically. He was accepted at Tuskegee Institute but decided to join the army to serve his country. Theodore joined the army in 1940. He was stationed at several army bases stateside and abroad. He served in World War II and the Korean Conflict. Theodore attained the rank of Sergeant First Class. He was one of the first black Non-Commissioned Officers to lead an all-white platoon in Korea. Theodore retired from the army in 1964.
Theodore accepted Christ at a young age in Fort Mitchell, Alabama. He joined Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church, Long Branch NJ in 1955. Theodore was a member of the choir and served as steward on the Steward Board at Trinity AME Church. He loved to listen to gospel music and read the Bible. He would often pray before making decisions. Theodore knew that he wasn’t a perfect Christian, but a sinner saved by grace.
Theodore was a champion and a giant for civil rights and social justice. He sued the borough of Red Bank, NJ for passing a loitering law that targeted young black males and won the lawsuit. Theodore served as the past president of the Red Bank chapter of the NAACP. He was instrumental in the founding of the Red Bank Community Center, which served the African American youth on the west side of Red Bank. Theodore was a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Red Bank Community Center.
Theodore and Mattie exhibited the “Can Do” attitude when they decided in their early sixties to further their education. They both received their Associate degree from Brookdale Community College and Bachelor of Science degree in social work from Stockton State College. Theodore went on to receive his Master of Science degree in Counseling from Kean University.
Theodore loved to help African American servicemen and servicewomen and families of soldiers receive their benefits from the Armed Forces and know their rights. Theodore received numerous awards for his service to his community, church, and country, but his greatest reward came on October 4, 2021, When God, his Commander-in-Chief called him to his final deployment and welcomed him home and said, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, Mattie (Butler) Johnson, sons, Larry E. Johnson, Welton C. Johnson Esq., and Timothy M. Johnson, along with his grandson, Shawn M. Johnson, and daughter-in-law, Diane Johnson.
Theodore leaves to cherish his memory his sons, Theodore Johnson, Jr. (Claudia), Jackson Township, NJ; Winfred Johnson (Sharon), Long Branch, NJ; Frederick L. Johnson, Sr., Red Bank, NJ; James C. Johnson (Marilyn), Toms River, NJ; and Reverend Jeffrey M. Johnson (Dr. Margaret), Woolwich Township, NJ; one brother, Homer Johnson, Sr., Atlantic City, NJ; thirty grandchildren, fifty-three great-grandchildren, seven great great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
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