The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 12, 2012

George A. Johnson


Star Beacon

CARY, N.C. — George Arthur Johnson, age 90, passed away Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.

He was born May 5, 1922, in Rochester, N.Y., to Arthur Howard Johnson and Edith Aslett Johnson and attended elementary and high schools in Rochester. He graduated from Oberlin College with a BA degree in history and then attended Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and the University of Chicago, from which he received a doctorate in church history.

From the age of 12, George knew he had a calling to the ministry. He served the Palos Park Presbyterian Church in Chicago for two years, followed by service to the First Presbyterian Church in Bucyrus, Ohio, for 6 years. He went on to serve the First Presbyterian Church of Ashtabula, Ohio, for 29 years.

A kind and gentle pastor for all of his years in his various church settings, he enjoyed preaching and giving lessons and illustrations from secular and church history. He also enjoyed calling on those people in and outside his church in the hopes of spreading good will and comfort in the community.

He served on ecumenical boards throughout the years to encourage tolerance and also was active in the American Field Service for over 15 years. He was a loyal Rotarian, attending meetings every week wherever he lived. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the College of Wooster for six years.

He enjoyed classical music, and attended opera performances and the Cleveland Symphony concerts for over 3 decades.

George was married to his devoted wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Collins Johnson, for 58 years and they enjoyed their family, music, traveling and their church work all their married lives. Betty died in 2005.

George and Betty retired in 1985 and moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. In 2000, they moved to the retirement community of Glenaire in Cary, N.C.

George is survived by his son, Howard; his daughter, Judy Phelps and her husband, John; his son, Nason Lui and his wife, Monique; two grandchildren, Adam Phelps and his wife, Tina and Erin Carmena and her husband, Jose; as well as four great-grandchildren.

Obituary and condolences at starbeacon.com.