Thomas Etsol's Story

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Thomas Etsol Johnson, Sr., 82, of Valdosta, died on Monday, January 8, 2018 after a brief illness. Mr. Johnson was born in Ashburn on April 29, 1935 to the late William Franklin Johnson, Sr. & Luana Roberts Johnson. The family moved from Ashburn to Valdosta when he was a child. Mr. Johnson attended Valdosta City Schools and graduated from Valdosta High School in 1953. During high school, he was the manager for the Wildcat football team, this would be the beginning of a lifelong and avid devotion to Valdosta Wildcat Football. After graduation, he served thirteen years in the National Guard and it wasnt long before he met the former Margie Ann Cole, from Hahira. They were married in May of 1960, and celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary last year. Early on, Mr. Johnson worked at the Owens Illinois Bag Plant in Clyattville for several years and then in 1966 he went to work for the Southern Railway Company. He would work for Southern, then later as Norfolk Southern Railway, for thirty one years, retiring as a Conductor in 1997. After his retirement from the railroad, he worked for several more years at the Sleep Inn, maintaining the facility. Mr. Johnson was active with the Hahira Historical Society, a member of the United Transportation Union and the Railroad Retirement Club. Northside Baptist Church was where Mr. Johnson had been a faithful and longtime member with his family.
Survivors include his wife, Margie Cole Johnson, of Valdosta; a daughter and son in law, Sonya & Ricky Tucker of Tifton; two sons and daughters in law, Tommy & Teresa Johnson of Valdosta and Mark & Donna Johnson of Hahira; six grandchildren, Luke Johnson, Emily Johnson, Sam Tucker, Chase Johnson, Mark Alan Johnson, Cole Johnson. Also surviving is his brother, Robert M. Johnson of Hahira; three sisters and two brothers in law, Arminda J. Morrison of Atlanta, GA., Betty J. Greene of Rome, GA, Nancy J. & Jack Allen, and Jim Brantley all of Valdosta; and numerous nieces & nephews. Mr. Johnson is preceded in death by a sister, Bea J. Brantley; brother & sisters in law, W.F. (Bill) & Gerry Johnson, Peggy Johnson; brothers in law and sisters in law, L.V. Greene, W. Lamar & Betty Cole, and Virginia Cole and his parents in law, Willie P. & Vera Cole. The family would like to express appreciation to his physicians, nurses, caregivers and hospice for their care to Mr. Johnson during his illness.
Funeral services for Mr. Johnson will be held at 2pm on Friday, January 12, 2018 in the Chapel of Carson McLane Funeral Home. Rev. Robert Willis and Dr. Gary Woods will officiate. Burial will follow at Friendship Cemetery in Hahira. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Thursday evening from 6 until 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Building Our Legacy, c/o Northside Baptist Church, 200 E. Park Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31602 or to the Langdale Hospice House, 2263 Pineview Drive, Valdosta, GA 31602. Condolences may be conveyed to the family on the obituary page of www.mclanecares.com Carson McLane Funeral Home
Published on January 9, 2018
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