James Emmett Johnson, 68, of Rogers, formerly of Jacksonville, died Friday, April 28, 2017. Mr. Johnson was born June 29, 1948 in Memphis, Tenn., to the late Clarence Boyd Johnson and Mary Emma Nelson Johnson. Jim had two passions in his life, education and family. He believed that the key to ending poverty was education. He came from poor beginnings and knew what it was like to struggle. He realized in seventh grade that he wanted to teach. He was able to get through school by working and with the help of government assistance. He attended Tennessee Tech, where he was an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He graduated with a BSE in English. He took his first job as a teacher in Marvell, Ark. From there, he moved back to Memphis to begin his Master's Degree in Education Administration, while teaching English and journalism at West Memphis High School. Before he completed his masters, he was hired to be the principal at Fordyce Middle School. He served as an administrator in Fordyce for seven years. He then took a job in Pulaski County Special School District, as Principal of Jacksonville High School. He cherished his time as a Red Devil. He was dedicated to serving and mentoring his faculty and "kids". His accomplishments at JHS did not go unrecognized as he was offered a position as Director of Secondary Education within the district. He worked for all the kids in PCSSD for eight years. After many years and much prayer, Jim took a job in Rogers as the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education. He retired from this position in 2007. Immediately following his retirement, Jim went to work for the Arkansas Department of Education training and consulting educators throughout Arkansas. His love for education and his desire to make a difference continued until the day he left this world. Even when he could no longer walk or drive, Jim found a way to pursue his passion from a chair with his laptop and cell phone. His work ethic and professionalism were among his most recognized and appreciated qualities. Jim married his high school sweetheart on Dec. 19, 1970. Their unconditional love was evident to all – especially in his final days as Corliss cared for him throughout his illness. Together they raised two beautiful daughters. Kim was a proud "Diddy's girl". He was her high school principal, role model, and biggest fan. Amy shared his love for shopping and a good "sale". As some people grow apart from their parents in time, Amy and her dad grew closer together. Both girls followed in their dad's footsteps and attained both a BSE and MSE in education. Jim was a great father-in-law to Mark and David. He always expressed his gratitude for his ‘sons". Jim's grandkids were his world. He rarely missed an event and always made his presence known, whether it be at a dance recital or a ball field. Jim was a "memory maker". He loved to surprise his family with trips, gifts, and experiences. He loved tradition and taught us the value in sentimental items. He kept every card, note, or picture that was ever given to him by his family, friends, and students. He also taught the importance of relationships, the arts, and thank you cards. If you knew Jim Johnson you were better because of it. His legacy will live on in all those he came in contact with. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up "The Jim Johnson Memorial Scholarship" fund. This scholarship will be given each year to a graduating senior at Jacksonville High School who is planning to go into the field of education. Donations can be made to First Arkansas Bank & Trust. Mr. Johnson was preceded in death by his parents, C. B. Johnson, Mary Emma Johnson and Kathryn E. Johnson and a sister, Mary Ann Wilson. Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife, Corliss Revell Johnson; children, Kimberly Ann Marak (Mark) and Amy Elizabeth Welborn (David); grandchildren, Sloan Olivia Marak, Margaux Ava Marak, Cleo Grace Marak, Maddox Christian Welborn and Cruz David Welborn; siblings, Clarence Boyd Johnson Jr., Kirby Hickman, Carolyn McCoy and Tina Matthews. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. Monday, May 1, 2017 at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Funeral Services will begin at 3 p.m. at the church with Pastor Mark Evans officiating. Burial will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Park under the direction of Moore's Jacksonville Funeral Home (501) 982-2136. Please sign the online guestbook at www.mooresjacksonvillefuneralhome.com.
Published April 30, 2017