Wade Oldham Johnson, 85, died September 4, 2012 from complications of heart valve surgery.
He was born in Greensboro, NC on July 11, 1927, the son of Jessie McNeill and Taylor Clegg Johnson. Growing up in Salisbury, NC, he graduated from Boyden High School in 1944. He immediately started N.C. State with WWII going on, only to have it interrupted after a year to join the U.S Coast Guard where he served on the USS Modoc on the Greenland Patrol. He re-entered N.C. State after the war, completing his education in Dairy Manufacturing in 1951. He was hired by Sealtest as a sales representative and assigned to Durham in 1951. He joined the U.S Army Reserves, serving two separate times over a period of years and retiring in 1988 as a Sergeant Major. He changed his profession in 1961 and went to work for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in sales where he won sales awards here as well as when he was with Sealtest. After 15 years in pharmaceuticals he chose to add more variety to his working career by going to work for Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company. He worked in supervisor capacities in several areas before becoming Manager of Security and Emergency Preparedness, retiring in 1993.
Early in Durham, he was active in the Jaycees attending many national conventions and serving on the board of directors. After retiring he enjoyed many years in the Durham Lions Club where he served as president as well as numerous committees. In addition he belonged to the Schley American Legion Post.
He had been in Durham only a few months before he met a student nurse at Duke by the name of Ann. They were married on September 8, 1956 at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was a long time member of Trinity Avenue where he was very active through the years. He served many years on the Session and on many committees. He was a long time member of the George Watts Sunday School class.
A highlight of raising two daughters was traveling. When they were pre-teens he purchased a travel trailer and the family enjoyed trips all over the United States and Canada. After the girls were on their own he switched to motor homes. He and Ann enjoyed their motor home travels and their companions in the group called “The Travelin Tar Heels”. He was quick to point out he was not sure how a N.C. State man got into a group that sounded like and association with another group.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ann Fuller Johnson; daughters, Carolyn J. Andrews Rev. Dr. Scott Andrews of Bennettesville, SC and Sara J. Williams of Durham; four adored grandsons, Christopher and Stephen Andrews and Wade “Clark” and Brad Williams; sister, Sara Johnson and nephews Tim and Steve Johnson of Salisbury, NC. His greatest joy and passion was his family.
A memorial Service will be held at 2 PM Saturday, September 8 at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church with visitation to follow the service at the church. Officiating will be the Rev. Elizabeth Michael, the Rev. Graham McChesney and the Rev. Katie Crowe.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Durham Lions Club and the George Watts Sunday School class.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church Capital Fund, 927 W. Trinity Avenue, Durham, NC 27701.
Arrangements for the Johnson family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com