JAMES LYNN JOHNSON of Medford, NJ, passed away on Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 79 years of age. Born in Ironwood, Michigan, Jim is the son of the late George and Sophie Johnson (Kleimola) and is the youngest of four siblings. He is survived by his brother Paul Johnson of Cupertino, CA, and preceded by late brothers, Leroy Johnson from Brookings, South Dakota and Robert Johnson from Pasadena, Texas.
Jim is the Beloved Husband of Mary Ellen Johnson (Whitney) and is the Loving Father of Karen Hertzog (spouse Christopher Hertzog and son Ethan Hertzog) from Downingtown, PA; Craig Johnson (children Christopher and Alexis Johnson) from Newtown, PA; James L Johnson Jr. PhD (Fiancé Melody Panaroni) from Henniker, NH; nephew Travis Whitney and brother-in-law Andrew Whitney, both from Berlin, NJ.
Raised on Johnson Truck Farm and Nursery in Ironwood, MI, young Jim helped the family business to grow and market perennials across the country until 1948. Spending a childhood around flowers, Jim developed the uncanny ability to name virtually any flower or perennial on sight, something about which his father bragged a great deal.
In 1966, Jim entered the U.S. Army, eventually attaining the rank of Captain (Artillery). During his service he received two commendations, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal; he was honorably discharged in 1974.
After graduating from University of Houston with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Physics, he attended University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business Management Program. His long and distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry began at SmithKline & French in 1978 as a Product Director and he eventually became Vice President of Marketing for GlaxoSmitKline. In 1989, he went to Covance Pharmaceutical Services, and, as Vice President of Commercial Development, led a highly successful global sales team. His experience and expertise lead to multiple occasions for him to recognized by industry leaders including appearing on the cover of the magazine, Pharmaceutical Executive. After becoming semiretired in 2000, he continued to work as an independent consultant.
Growing up in the Midwest fostered a lifelong passion for skiing: a passion Jim would pass on to all three of his children. In addition to winter sports, he also celebrated the Michigan Upper Peninsula rite of passage of “deer camp.” Later in life, Jim decided to follow his love of flying, logging many hours towards a Recreational Pilot’s Certificate. In the summers, he enjoyed the beach and waves of Cape May, NJ. His other hobbies included golf, tennis, attending the theater with friends, and traveling with wife Mary Ellen. However, more than anything else, Jim loved spending time with his family and his grandchildren.
Relatives and Friends are invited to greet his family on Saturday, October 5 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the BRADLEY & STOW FUNERAL HOME, 127 Medford-Mt. Holly Rd., Medford, NJ. A Celebration of Jim's life will be held on Saturday at 5 PM. Interment will be held privately.
Special Thanks to the staff at Penn Medicine Hospice who provided distinguished support in his final days. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Parkinson.org.