Cover photo for Dr. John F. Johnson's Obituary
Dr. John F. Johnson Profile Photo

Dr. John F. Johnson

April 20, 1938 — October 2, 2023

Quitman, TX

Dr. John F. Johnson

Click HERE to watch Dr. Johnson's Funeral Service live

Dr. John F. Johnson, a distinguished educator and community leader, passed away on October 2, 2023 at the age of 85. His remarkable life was marked by a passion for education, an unwavering dedication to his community, and a deep commitment to his family.

Born in Smith County, Texas, Dr. Johnson received his early education in the Chapel Hill Independent School District and graduated from Jackson High School in 1956. A voracious reader with an inquisitive mind, he embarked on a remarkable academic journey, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas College in 1961; a Masters of Science in Biology from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1972; and a Doctor of Education from Texas A & M University at Commerce in 1986. His intellectual curiosity led him to further studies at Southern Methodist University, The University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas at Tyler, and Texas Christian University, where he conducted research toward finding a cure for sickle cell anemia.

Throughout his career, Dr. Johnson shared his love for biology with countless students, first as a public school teacher at Winona Independent School District and San Augustine Independent School District. He went on to teach at several esteemed institutions of higher learning, including Jarvis Christian University, Texas College, Paul Quinn College, and Huston-Tillotson University. His tenure at Jarvis Christian University spanned an incredible 51 years, during which he held various roles, including Professor of Biology, Area Coordinator of Science, Division Chair of Education, Division Chair of Arts & Sciences, and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Even in retirement, he continued to impart knowledge as an Adjunct Professor of Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Dr. Johnson's contributions to education were acknowledged with numerous awards and honors, including Lilly Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award; Delta Sigma Theta Outstanding Citizen Award (Tyler Alumnae Chapter); Top Ladies of Distinction Community Awareness Award; United Negro College Fund Scholar; and Piper Professor Nominee. At Jarvis Christian University, he was recognized as the Most Dedicated Faculty Member, Most Effective Academic Advisor, and Most Supportive Faculty Member. He was instrumental in developing the Texas Master Science Teacher Examination for grades 8-12 as part of the State Board for Educator Certification: Master Science Teacher Program.

His professional affiliations included memberships in the Texas State Teacher Association, Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society, Texas Academy of Science, National Science Teacher Association, National Association of Biology Teachers, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Beyond his educational pursuits, Dr. Johnson was an active and devoted member of his community. He served on the Wood County Appraisal Board and the Jackson High School Reunion Committee. He held leadership positions at the First United Methodist Church of Quitman, including Lay Leader, Staff Parish Relations Board member, and Chairman of the Scholarship Committee. Additionally, he was the President of the Forever Young Activity Center Board of Trustees and played a pivotal role in the Wood County Democratic Club as Chairman of the Get Out the Vote Committee.

Dr. John F. Johnson's legacy extends beyond his professional achievement––it is also evident in his loving family. He was preceded in death by his mother, Armentha Mosley; father, John Franklin Johnson; sister, Minnie Smith; and beloved first wife, Ophelia Forrest Johnson, with whom he raised and is survived by their two children: Rodney Johnson (Nelda) and LaQuita Johnson. He is also survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Beverly Waddleton Johnson; their sons, Travers Johnson and Alston Johnson; brother, Roy Earl Mosley; sisters Gertie M. Bowser, Patricia Bowser Jett (Carl), and Felecia Bowser Bradley; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family members, and friends.

Dr. Johnson's passing leaves a void in the Quitman, Hawkins, and Tyler communities, but his memory will forever be cherished by those whose lives he touched. His passion for learning, dedication to his students, and commitment to making his community a better place will continue to inspire generations to come.

Visitation will be held at Lowe-Gardner Funeral Home in Quitman, TX on Thursday, October 5 from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Services will be held at Jarvis Christian University in Hawkins, TX on Friday, October 6 at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following:

First United Methodist Church
Joy Hall Fund or Scholarship Fund
406 Lane Street
Quitman, TX 75783

Jarvis Christian University
John F. Johnson Scholarship
P.O. Box 1470
Hawkins, TX 75765

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. John F. Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, October 5, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Lowe-Gardner Funerals & Cremations

1102 E. Goode St., Quitman, TX 75783

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Funeral Service

Friday, October 6, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Jarvis Christian University

80 Pr 7631, Hawkins, TX 75765


Click to watch

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Graveside Service

Friday, October 6, 2023

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