Cover photo for David   Lemuel Johnson's Obituary
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1926 David 2022

David Lemuel Johnson

February 6, 1926 — January 15, 2022

David Lemuel Johnson
February 6, 1926 – January 15, 2022

David was born into the large family of Dr & Mrs R.L. Johnson in the little town of Bassett, Arkansas. As the son of a country doctor and one of nine children, he often went with his brother, Robert, on adventures. For one adventure, they signed up together for duty in World War II. Robert went into the Army, but David chose the Marines, joining the 21st Marines in the Third Division. One of the few who survived the Battle of Iwo Jima, he went on to China for duty. During the war, he was a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) man and a Sharpshooter. Honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal, he was always proud of his military service and in later life shared many war stories. He also wrote about his experience in his memoirs.

After the war, his family moved to Blytheville, Arkansas. He attended Mississippi State College and graduated with a degree in agriculture. During that time, he married Janie Mae McCulley of Columbus, Mississippi. They moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where they had a son, Michael. David worked for the US Government in the medical field before moving his family to Newark, New Jersey, where he became employed by Sylvana, Inc., a maker of medical diagnostics. During this time, he learned to make VDRL antigen, a valuable diagnostic for syphilis. (It is said that he was one of only four or five people in the world who had the knack for making what was a difficult product to manufacture.) During this time, his first daughter, Carol, was born. He then moved his family to a farm near Princeton, New Jersey, to make additional products for the firm. During this time, his youngest daughter, Lisa, was born. Later they moved to the small village of Belle Mead.

In 1968, he and a friend, Lee Roach, started their own firm, Lee Laboratories, which they established in Georgia. David and family moved to Snellville and lived there many years until the children left home and he and Janie retired. They built a house on Lake Sinclair, near Sparta, and then another on Lake Hartwell, before finally moving to Augusta.

David was always a country boy, and he loved tramping through the field and woods. When courting his soon-to-be wife, he helped his future in-laws on the farm. Later in life, he maintained a strong interest in agriculture and practiced organic gardening before it became popular and cultivated beautiful flower gardens. He was especially proud of his roses. An avid photographer, he was one of the earliest adopters of 8mm movie film and the Polaroid camera. He also enjoyed making furniture, and his children still treasure his work. As a loving father, he supported his children in every way.

He is survived by Janie Mae McCulley Johnson, the love of his life for 70 years; his son, Michael Chesley Johnson (Trina Stephenson); his daughters, Carol Johnson Reimche (Donavon Reimche); and Lisa Johnson Boyd (David Boyd); also grandchildren: Cady Clark Jones (Brandon Jones), Jack Clark, Andrew Reimche and Sarah Reimche; and a great-grandson, Bowen Jones. He also leaves behind three sisters: Lonnie Harrison, Janice Hall and Donna Sue Mosley, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert, and his sisters Juanita, Mary Jane, Francis and Sara.

The family deeply appreciates the loving care provided by Just Like Family home caregivers and Hospice Services of Georgia.

He will be buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Lemuel Johnson, please visit our flower store.


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