James Richards Johnson
March 20, 1932 – December 10, 2017
James Richards (Jim) Johnson passed away after a short illness. He was 85. Jim was born in Dover, NJ to Howard C. Johnson and Helen (Richards) Johnson. He attended local schools, and graduated from Lehigh University with a Business Administration degree in 1954. After serving time in the US Navy as a naval aviation cadet and then aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bennington from 1954 – 1956, Jim married Verna Lou Banks in 1957. They resided in Succasunna, NJ, Rockaway Township, NJ, and in retirement at Cedar Crest Village, Pompton Plains, NJ. Jim and Verna spent many weekends and summers at Cottrell Lake, Union Dale, PA with friends and extended family.
Jim joined his father as the third generation operating the family business in Dover, NJ providing moving and storage services, delivering Blue Coal to homes, and then as a heating oil dealer, including many years servicing heating and air conditioning systems, until his retirement in 2001.
Jim is survived by Verna Lou, his wife of 60 years, his children David (Beverly) of Essex Fells, NJ, Eric (Linda) of West Chester, PA, Steven (Sandy) of Midland Park, NJ, and Kristin Shute (Josh) of Allendale, NJ, and seven grandchildren, Katie Johnson, Becky Johnson, Sara (Johnson) Baginsky, Kyle Johnson, Pierson Shute, Morgan Shute, and Chesley Shute.
Jim was active in local history as his ancestors were founding fathers of Dover and surrounding areas. He was a member of the Dover and Rockaway Historical Societies, helped start the Dover History Museum, and was passionate about local geology, rocks and minerals, collecting antique toys and tools, researching the iron mines of the North Jersey area, and crafting jewelry from silver and stones. Jim was an elder and trustee of the First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover, and was an assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 14. During summer months, Jim and family camped and traveled though every state in the US, visiting many National Parks and Monuments, and collecting and trading rocks along the way. Jim enjoyed his eleven years at Cedar Crest, especially working the TV Studio for nine years and giving talks on his many interests including rocks, minerals, and local history.
A memorial service will be held at the Cedar Crest Interfaith Chapel, Pompton Plains, NJ on Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 11:00 am, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim can be made to either the Memorial Fund at the First Presbyterian Church, 51 West Blackwell Street, Dover, NJ 07801, or to the Scholars Fund, Cedar Crest Philanthropy Office, 1 Cedar Crest Village Drive, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444.
Arrangements are by Codey & Jones Funeral Home, Caldwell, NJ. Visit the Codey & Jones website at http://CodeyJonesFH.com for more information.