Roy Eugene Johnson, 74, of New Albany and formerly of Memphis, Tenn., died Aug. 18, 2012 at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County, with his family at his side.
Johnson was born March 15, 1938 in Water Valley to Roy Mel and Elsie Johnson, both deceased. His love for and service to our country began at an early age. He was a Boy Scout and the first Eagle Scout in Glendora.
He also had a passion for music. He played in the Charleston High School band which earned him numerous scholarships to college. However, in lieu of scholarships, Roy joined the United States Air Force and was a tuba, string bass, bassoon player, and even conducted several symphonies in the very prestigious Air Force Band. He traveled the world with the Air Force Band playing for such dignitaries as the queen of England and the king of Thailand, for whom he recorded an album. His primary military training was in electronic communication and cryptographic equipment.
While stationed at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Mass,, he met, fell in love with and married Linda Joy Baszner of Whitinsville, Mass. Shortly after their marriage, Roy and Linda were stationed in Japan where their daughter, Kristina Ann Johnson was born. After returning to the United States, their second child, a son, Roy Eugene Johnson II was born in Alexandria, La.
While stationed at England Air Force Base in Louisiana, Roy received The Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, Cryptographic Maintenance and Digital Subscriber Terminal Equipment Maintenance, 1908th Communications Squadron from July 27, 1973 to March 31, 1976. In 1976, after 21 years of service with the Air Force, Roy retired and moved his family to Memphis, Tennessee where he began his employment with the U.S. Postal Service Main Branch on South Third Street. He retired from the Post Office in 1998 after an additional 19 years of service, eventually moving to New Albany in 2007. After his retirement, he enjoyed wood working, building computers, leather working, visiting with family and friends and making jokes. He also enjoyed attending the annual Air Force Musicians Assoication gatherings. He will be sorely missed.
Funeral services were at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, at Forest Hill Funeral Home East on Whitten Road in Memphis, Tenn., with the Reverend Bob Sorrell presiding. Forest Hill Funeral Home East of Memphis, Tenn. was in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Linda Baszner Johnson; a daughter Kristina Ann Johnson, both of New Albany and formerly of Memphis, Tenn.; and a son Roy Eugene Johnson II of Memphis, Tenn. He also leaves two sisters, Charlotte Johnson Gray of Batesville, Betty Henry Brooks of Fayetteville, Tenn., an aunt, Martha Louise Carpenter of Memphis, Tenn., several cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends. In addition to his parents he was predeceased by a sister, Eleanor Johnson Gray of Batesville.
There was a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Organization in memory of Roy Eugene Johnson to www.pancan.org.