AMerican Veteran 11

Sam Johnson, Jr.

November 23, 1925 ~ January 14, 2024 (age 98) 98 Years Old

Sam Johnson, Jr. Obituary

Sam Johnson, Jr., of Smoke Rise, Ala., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, January 14, 2024. He was 98 years old.


Born in Birmingham, Ala., on November 23, 1925, to parents Sam Johnson, Sr., and Anna Self Johnson, he was the eldest of six children. 


Sam graduated Ensley High School at age 16 and served in the Pacific Campaign of WWII as a Staff Sergeant in the US Army. He was part of the occupation of Tokyo following the Japanese surrender and guarded both Iva Toguri (Tokyo Rose) and Hideki Tojo at Sugamo Prison.


After returning home from war, he began working at Forbes Distributing Company. Shortly thereafter, he began his own business in radio repair, eventually becoming one of Birmingham’s earliest and most successful television repair services. He ran his business until retirement in 2015.


In 1949, married Barbara Lorraine Nichols. Their union lasted 66 years, until her death in 2015, and was blessed with three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.


In 1973, the family moved from Birmingham to Smoke Rise, where they were prominent members of the community and among the earliest members of Smoke Rise Baptist Church. 


Sam was an avid sports fan, both of the Atlanta Braves and especially of the University of Alabama. He lived for Alabama football, basketball, softball and gymnastics, and was proud to have been alive for each of the football team’s 18 National Championships.


Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Sam, Sr., and Anna Self Johnson; his wife, Barbara Johnson; his brothers, Donald, Jerry, Kenneth and Eugene Johnson; sister, Norma Suddeth; and his son-in-law, Lee Brower.


He is survived by his son, Mark Johnson (wife Lois), and their sons, Samuel and Ryan Johnson, all of Hayden, Ala.; daughter, Karen Brower of Orange Beach, Ala., and her son, Donnie Whiteaker-Smith (husband Eamon), and their daughter, Cora, all of St. Paul, Minn.; and daughter, Pamela Wall (husband Terry) of Warrior, Ala., and her daughters, Heather Bullard of Warrior, Ala., and Lindsey McInnerney (husband Scott), both of Gardendale, Ala.


Funeral arrangements are being handled by Walker Chapel Funeral Home and there will be a private graveside service for family at Oakwood Memorial Gardens, where Sam will be interred next to Barbara. In lieu of any flowers or food, the family asks that those so inclined please make a donation in his memory to the United Way of Central Alabama at

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