LIMA — Bennie Michael Johnson Jr., 56, died at 8:20 p.m. June 16, 2013, at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.
He was born Aug. 29, 1956, in Lima to Bennie M. and Cena Bryant Johnson Sr. His father and stepmother, Bertha Johnson, survive in Lima. His mother also survives in Lima.
Mr. Johnson was a 1974 graduate of Lima Senior High School. He began singing when he was 6 years old in the Sunbeam Choir at St. James AME Church. In 1971, he made a single, Wonderful Jesus, with the United Gospel Singers. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University. Following college, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he was recruited for the play “Mama I Want to Sing.” He was the lead singer in the musical “The Last Call” and was the featured singer on the album “Lawrence Ingram Spirit of Life Community Singers." He had been an actor with Linda Turner Productions and MCM Drama Company. He has been featured on BET and performed at the noted Wortham Theater, Houston, Texas. He had been singing for years and his voice will be missed around Lima. He was a member of Philippian Missionary Baptist Church.
Survivors also include a son, Mallory C. Johnson, of Houston, Texas; his beloved dog, Paw Paw; three grandchildren; four brothers, Ricky Johnson, of Cincinnati, Reginald Johnson, of Atlanta, and Jeffrey L. (Mellisa) Johnson and Darrell A. Johnson, both of Lima; a stepbrother, Rob Simpson, of Lima; two sisters, Bonnie (Tony) Smith, of Lima, and Joanne (Edward) Howard, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; a stepsister, Connie (Steven) Luster, of Lima; special brothers and sisters, Elder Ted and Quan Cory and Derrick and Crystal Dillard; special godparents, Bobby and Mary Monford; special friends, Darryl and Denise White; and the loves of his heart were his nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Ronald L. Johnson; and his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Services will begin at noon Friday at Philippian Missionary Baptist Church. The Rev. Dr. B. Lamont Monford Sr. will officiate, with district Elder Michael Cooper Sr. delivering the eulogy. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Jones-Clark Funeral Home, where the family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m.
Condolences may be sent to JonesClarkFH@aol.com.
Bennie Michael Johnson Jr.