The beautiful setting sun that was our father finally slipped below the horizon on March 25, 2013. Anderson F. Johnson Jr. was 86 years old.
Born on March 7, 1927 in Richmond, Va., Dad rolled into this world possessed with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to build and create. He came by these traits honestly.
His father, Anderson F. Johnson, was an engineer with Virginia Power. His mother, Nellie Jarman Johnson, was a registered nurse.
Dad graduated from Petersburg High School and enrolled at Virginia Tech. His freshman year, however, was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country in World War II in the South Pacific. Following his discharge, Dad resumed his studies at that fine institution and ultimately graduated in 1951 with a degree in Industrial Physics.
Along the way, he married a pretty little girl from Christiansburg, Va., his beloved wife Joyce, and, true to their vows, they remained married for 62 years, only upon his death did they part.
Dad began his engineering career in earnest at the General Electric plant in Salem, Va., where he obtained the first patent to ever be issued at that facility. In 1960, Dad moved the family north to Reading, Pa., when he accepted a job with Western Electric. He remained with Western Electric and then AT&T for the next 27 years and obtained 14 more patents in the fields of integrated circuitry, fiber optics and laser communication technology.
After Dad’s retirement, idle time came uneasy to his hands, so he designed and built a beautiful waterfront home in Hardyville, Va., where he and our mother retired and live still to this day.
As much as our father enjoyed his work, he enjoyed time with his family even more. He dearly loved his two sons, Michael Lee Johnson of Hardyville, and William E. Johnson of Bavon, Va., and dinnertime was his favorite affair. Barbecue chicken on the grill, a bourbon and ginger or three, and the presence of our mom, his sons and his beloved grandchildren, William Eric Johnson Jr., Jacob Anderson Johnson, Patrick Kenneth Johnson, Caleb Royce Johnson and Katherine Marie Johnson, all of Bavon, made his day like nothing else on this earth.
He loved Virginia Tech football (when they won), Fox News and a table full of steamed crabs. He will be hugely missed. To his very end, Dad displayed the true grit that made him the man he was. Although faced with arduous medical circumstances, he never complained and he never showed fear.
Funeral services will be held at Bristow Faulkner Funeral Home commencing at 11 a.m. on April 29, 2013, with burial services thereafter at Windsor Gardens Cemetery in Dutton, Va.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 98, Deltaville, Va. 23043.
In the past year, Dad was a frequent flyer to Riverside Walter Reed Hospital and that excellent organization provided impeccable service. Thank you.