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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of John
4Willis Johnson, who passed away on December 18, 2023; and
5    WHEREAS, John Johnson was born to Chester Johnson and
6Clorine McGilberry in Ellisville, Mississippi on February 10,
71944; he attended Roosevelt Elementary School in Ellis; after
8moving to St. Louis with his mother and siblings, he continued
9his education in the St. Louis public school system; he
10graduated from Soldan High School in 1964, where he lettered
11in basketball, tennis, and baseball; he briefly attended
12Culver Stockton College; he married Shirley Jean Smith on May
1330, 1965; and
14    WHEREAS, John Johnson worked at Mallinckrodt/Tyco/Covidien
15from April 1965 until his retirement in July 2010; and
16    WHEREAS, John Johnson was a union advocate and held
17several positions during his career, including shop steward,
18vice president, and president of UAW Local 1887; he went to
19Washington, D.C. with Jim Wells, then-director of UAW Region
205, to testify before Congress on plant safety issues; and
21    WHEREAS, John Johnson played basketball in both industrial



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1and independent leagues for more than 20 years; he then
2volunteered his services as assistant coach of the Beaumont
3High School Varsity Basketball Team alongside his friend Bob
4Cole, the program's head coach; and
5    WHEREAS, John Johnson committed to his faith at an early
6age; he was baptized at Mount Aid Missionary Baptist Church,
7which was built by his grandfather, John, and other family
8members in 1885 and still has an active church community
9today; at Mount Aid, he was active in the Baptist Training
10Union and the Sunday School, where he served as superintendent
11as a pre-teen; he also attended Douglas Chapel AME, where his
12father served as a deacon; after moving to St. Louis, he became
13a member of Zion Temple Missionary Baptist Church; he and his
14wife established a membership at West Side Missionary Baptist
15Church; and
16    WHEREAS, John Johnson's love for his family was vitally
17important to him, and he was an avid supporter and leader of
18the annual McGilberry Family Reunions from 1982 to 2023; and
19    WHEREAS, John Johnson was preceded in death by his wife of
2057 years, Shirley; his parents, Chester Johnson and Clorine
21McGilberry McCann; his sister, Shirley Keyes; his brothers,
22Teddy Johnson, Clarence McCann, and Gerald McCann; his
23in-laws, Leslie and Beulah M. Smith, Lester Smith, Laura



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1Trice, and Howard and Hurletta Davidson; and
2    WHEREAS, John Johnson is survived by his sons, Anthony
3(Angelita) Johnson and Terrell Washington; his grandchildren,
4Ciara, Jameelah, and Khairi; his great-grandson Jourdyn; his
5aunt, Zemma Conner; his sisters, Fannie Simpson, Carolyn Reed,
6and Ruth (Charles) McGee; his brothers, George (Marian)
7McGilberry, Larry McCann, and James H. Johnson; his
8sister-in-law, Christine (Carl) Williams Jr.; his
9brother-in-law, Charles (Christy) Smith Sr.; and a host of
10nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends; therefore, be it
13we mourn the passing of John Willis Johnson and extend our
14sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew
15and loved him; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
17presented to the family of John Johnson as an expression of our
18deepest sympathy.