Gene Davis Johnson, 87, of Asheville, passed away 1:00 p.m. Monday, July 2, 2018, at his home, surrounded by family.
The son of the late Leonard E. and Nina Sparrow Johnson, he is survived by a brother, Alfred (wife Peggy), of Houston, TX.
Gene was born July 30, 1930, in Asheville. He was a 1949 graduate of Lee H. Edwards High School and on September 29, 1950, at the age of 20, Gene married the love of his life, Joan Avery Mulvaney (age 17) at St. Joan of Arc Church. Settling down in West Asheville, they raised seven children (Gene wanted a dozen).
In addition to his wife, Gene is survived by his children, Kathy Carr of Lavonia, GA, Michael Johnson (Teresa), of Asheville, Susan Sheary, of Morganton, Steve Johnson (Joel), of Asheville, Margie Pressley (Jerry), of Nebo, Ken Johnson (Sally), of Asheville, and Mary Lee (Jack), of Knightdale, NC. Gene truly left his mark on the world with his 7 children, 19 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
On December 31, 1953, Gene opened Johnson's Atlantic Service Station at the intersection of Haywood Road and Fairfax Avenue in West Asheville. Working long hours to support his family, he repaired cars, provided wrecker service and sold gas for 25 years. In 1978, Gene and Joan moved to their current home at 64 Wedgefield Drive and opened Johnson's Auto Recycling, a successful business today.
For approximately 20 years Gene battled Parkinson's disease. His granddaughter, Jennifer Pressley Deweese, provided many hours of loving care to Gene and will continue caring for Joan in their home. The Johnson's wish to acknowledge and thank all his caregivers, Karen Snelson, Teresa Johnson, Shanna Warren, Melanie Randall and Michelle Ray for the wonderful care they provided to Gene in recent years.
An avid fisherman, Gene spent many hours on the lake fishing with family. Sunday trips to the lake were the highlight of our summer weekends when we were small. He taught us how to drive the boat and fish. We would catch night-crawlers or lizards in the creek for bait and off we'd go. Daddy always knew where the good fishing spots were. In recent years, Gene spent many hours on the lake with the guys despite his failing health.
In the fall, Gene loved to go deer hunting. He and "the boys," sons, grandsons and sons-in-law spent long hours hunting. They would plan for months then set up camp with all the amenities of home to include hot showers and full kitchen. Dad loved the food at deer camp. They ate like kings. They refused to let his illness prevent him from going fishing or hunting and went to special lengths to make sure he could. He went on his last hunt in November, 2017.
Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in the Patton Avenue chapel of Groce Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Green Hills Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday prior to the service.
Memorials may be made to Memory Care of Asheville, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803.