WHITEVILLE, N.C. -- Carl Richard Johnson, 93, went to be with the Lord Sunday (Nov. 29, 2015).
He was the son of the late William Thomas Johnson and Ada Bertha Davis Johnson. He was born in Newcomerstown on Feb. 26, 1922.
His first wife of 53 years, Evelyn Grace Freeman Johnson, preceded him in death, in 1995. He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Carol Ann Johnson Miller; a son, Gregory Alan Johnson; and five brothers, Marion Johnson, Paul Johnson, Donald Johnson, Jack Johnson, and Robert Johnson.
Carl served in the U.S. Air Corp from September 1942 to his honorable discharge on March 9, 1946. His job was 1st sergeant of Post Headquarters at the Air Force Base in Fresno, Calif.
Carl graduated in 1951 from Muskingum College, New Concord, having received a Bachelor of Science degree in science and education. In 1997, he became an ordained minister by the American Evangelistic Association of Florida. Also, in 1997, he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
After graduating from college, Carl became the general superintendent of Commercial Fuel Company in Cumberland, which was one of the largest coal mines in Ohio. Over the next 18 years Carl formed his own coal company, having owned mines in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee. After selling the coal company in 1978, he moved from Charleston, W.Va., to Los Angeles, Calif., where he established an agency to work as an agent for Hollywood celebrities. From 1982-2007 Carl was president and CFO of Giant Step Senior Citizen Housing of San Bernardino, where he built a 100-unit HUD 202 project to provide housing for senior citizens in San Bernardino. He named it Beautiful Light Inn. In October of 1999 he was awarded the REACT Award for the No. 1 senior citizen complex in the United States.
Although Carl never pastored a church, he always felt that his ministry was in helping senior citizens with affordable housing. During his visits to Whiteville, he became aware of the need for affordable housing in Columbus County. He built Beautiful Light Inn, a 30-unit Section 202 project which opened in Whiteville in 2009.
He was a 32nd Degree Mason of Guernsey Lodge No. 66 F&AM in Ohio. He also was a member of the American Legion of California, Hollywood Post No. 43. As a member of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, he served as a lifetime deacon.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda Fisher Johnson of Whiteville and Los Angeles, Calif.; a son, Ronald Lee Johnson (Miranda) of St. Albans, W.Va.; a sister, Betty Kay Murphy of Caldwell, Ohio; three grandchildren, Doug Johnson and Cynthia Shaddox of California, and Melissa Price of Humble, Texas; five great-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren.
Final rites were Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at the McKenzie Mortuary in Whiteville and officiated by the Rev. Ken Baker.
A graveside service took place Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in East State Street Cemetery, Newcomerstown, with Murphy-Danielson Funeral Home, Caldwell, caring for the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Union Valley Baptist Church, 1424 Brown Maultsby Road, Whitesville, NC 28472.