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Official Obituary of

Jesse James Johnson

November 11, 1927 ~ February 17, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Jesse Johnson Obituary

Jesse James Johnson, better known as Buck (short for Buck Shot), was born on November 11, 1926. He went to be with the Lord on February 17, 2024. Buck was born three years before the start of The Great Depression, though he said they were so poor they never noticed a difference. Buck grew up in an old, wooden house with a dirt floor, 8 miles from town, at the end of the wagon trail. He said there were many nights they all went to bed hungry. Hunger inspired him to perfect his slingshot and trapping abilities and he would bring birds and rabbits back for his mama to cook. Buck was a true Florida Cracker, descending from a family who arrived to St. Augustine, Florida in the late 1600s. He could wrestle an alligator and catch hundreds of mullet with one cast of the net. From birth, Buck was a fighter and always found a way to survive. At 19 years old, he joined The United States Army Air Corps, which eventually became the US Air Force, during World War II, serving as a radio operator. After his honorable discharge from The Air Force, he worked in a variety of trades including truck driving, and produce distribution, and served as the Warehouse Manager at Badcock’s Furniture. Perhaps his favorite occupation of all was that of an amateur turned semi-professional boxer for over two decades. Oftentimes, he had to hitchhike to matches before he could afford to buy his own car. He fought on the same card as boxing greats Joe Louis, Willie Pep, Kid Gavilan, and Bob Foster. When he reflected on these matches, he said they were some of the best times of his life. In his spare time, he enjoyed bowling, playing golf, playing softball, hunting, fishing, and playing poker. One thing for certain, we all knew not to bet against him because we would surely lose. In 97 years, he experienced a lot of heartache and happiness. He outlived most of his children, two of his wives, and nearly all of his friends. Even though he faced more adversity than most, he always managed to keep a smile on his face and his head held high. Buck was well known in his community for helping others. He knew what it was like to struggle and never wanted to see anyone else suffer. Buck was preceded in death by his parents James Henry Johnson and Adele Greek Johnson. Wives Barbara Ruggs Johnson and Ella Trish Johnson. His sons, Richard Owen Johnson, James Nicholas Johnson, and Jeffrey Eugene Johnson. Siblings Pearl Tucker, Susie Belle Ogilve, Tommy Lou  Pate, Edgar Johnson, Leroy Johnson, and Joyce May and his great-grandson Jacob Marlin. He is survived by his children Tracy Johnson Wells (Jim), Jeff Johnson, Shane Johnson, and Michael Baker. Daughter-in-law Cynthia Gail Johnson. Grandchildren Crystal Johnson Marlin (Ted), Chris Salter (Michelle), Stacy Pascarella (Seth), Angela Roberts (Dale), Nicholas Salter (Stephanie), Bradley Sockalosky, Adam Petrie, and Jordan Petrie. Great grandchildren Joseph Marlin, Jarrett Watson, Karley Wambold, Josalyn Brewer, Tina Roberts, Clay Pascarella, Ethan Roberts, Maddie Salter, Mikey Petrie, Olivia Petrie. Great-great grandchildren Kason Wambold, Ellara May Wambold, Joshua Marlin, and Cayden Marlin. He has one living sister, Jackie Johnson Brookins. He is also survived by his oldest living relative Lucille Greek Slater, who was his cousin and his first best friend who he has known for 90 years. He was especially fond of all his cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews. ​Buck will be laid to rest at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL, at a future date, receiving full military honors. The service will be officiated by his nephew, Pastor John Greek. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to Haven Hospice in Gainesville, Florida. The family of Buck wishes to thank all of the wonderful, dedicated staff of Haven Hospice who provided excellent care, helping him peacefully transition to Heaven. 

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