Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Life in 30 Columns or Less

In keeping this place as my own little scrapbook, here's Daddy's obit, published the Thursday after his death, the day before his funeral:

Dr. Lloyd Johnson Jr., 70, passed away May 19, 2009. He is loved and will be dearly missed. He will be remembered by many as a wonderful doctor and friend, and he will be remembered by his family as an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. His life was dedicated to serving God and helping others through medicine, to cheering on the Crimson Tide with friends, and to making his family feel loved and cherished. That family, as it celebrates him, recalls the days he spent with them cruising in the boat, driving out West in the RV, cheering through the lens of a video camera at countless sporting events and sitting in his chair at the dinner table.

Lloyd was born July 2, 1938, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to loving parents. He grew up in Florence, Ala., where he played basketball at Coffee High School and reigned as Mr. Coffee High, graduating in 1956. He returned to Tuscaloosa to attend the University of Alabama. He excelled in the classroom and on the basketball court as team captain, despite the distance from his beloved mother's cooking. After a business school course in statistics, he decided to change his major to pre-med. He graduated from the Medical College of Alabama in 1961.

He met his wife, Joan, in the University of Alabama Emergency Room, where they both were in training. A man of efficiency, he proposed in the VA cafeteria. They married June 25, 1966, and would have celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary this summer.

Dedicated to a life of service, Lloyd worked as an orthopedic surgeon for 34 years, "retiring" in 2004. He still gave Social Security exams once a week and continued to work at area clinics. He supported Christian mission work around the world. Lloyd believed in ministering to those less fortunate, quietly providing food, favors, diagnoses, support and a helping hand to friends and strangers in need. He loved the islands of Hawaii, blue grass gospel, and Diet Mountain Dew, always in two-liter bottles. He memorized the front nine at Turtle Point, where he was a member, and always carried a customized calendar to show off pictures of his wife, four children, their spouses and six grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. Friday, May 22, in the atrium of First Baptist Church of Florence. The service will directly follow at 4 p.m. in First Baptist Church sanctuary. The Right Reverend John Harper, of Birmingham, will officiate. Elkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Lloyd is survived by his wife, Joan Palmer Johnson; his children and their spouses, Lloyd and Holly Johnson, Tim and Kristi Smith, Todd and Betsy Johnson, and Brian and Ashley Kappel; his grandchildren, Alex, Ella, Lily, Gabrielle, Sienna, Ethan, and a seventh, a girl due in August; his sister, Sissy Scroggins (Derrell); and his niece, Mary Sue Ridgway (Alan).

He was preceded in death by his father, Lloyd Johnson Sr.; his mother, Mary Sue Johnson; and his niece, Suzanne Scroggins.

Pallbearers will be David Crawford, Frank Hatchett, Still Hunter, John Lawson, Jim Northington, Uhland Redd, Ed Tease and Bob Yoder. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Florence Rotary and the Lauderdale County Medical Society.

In lieu of flowers, Lloyd's wife and children prefer donations be made to Habitat for Humanity, in honor of the loving home he built for them.

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