Published 8:23 am Saturday, May 23, 2015


May 18, 2015


A well-regarded, loving, and hard-working husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, veteran of three military branches and business owner/merchant, Charles “Charley” Carlos Johnson of Washington, North Carolina passed away peacefully at home on May 18, 2015 surrounded by his family.

Charles was born to Henry Johnson, Sr. and Sadie Doby Johnson in Reidsville, Georgia in 1942. The baby of the family, he spent the early morning hours picking cotton with his brothers and sisters before going to school, sometimes picking between two and three hundred pounds as early as 10 years old. Affectionately known as “Ears,” he was a playful youngster often seen pelting rocks from atop the roof of the family’s barn or “flying” off the roof using sheets as mock parachutes, playing the defendant in hilarious mock court trials with his siblings and surprising one of his sisters coming home early from military leave.

Charles graduated from Tattnall County Industrial High School in Reidsville, GA in 1960, briefly attended Fayetteville State University and studied Electrical Engineering Technology at Beaufort Community College in order to learn how to build his dream home where he resided for over 40 years. Charles was a proud military veteran who served his country in the Army, Navy and National Guard from 1961 to 1976 in Aberdeen Proving Ground (Maryland), Fort Dix (New Jersey), Fort Hamilton (New York), Naval Amphibious Base (Little Creek, Virginia) and Bad Kissingen, Germany. He concluded his service with all honorable discharges.

In August of 1966, he married Gladys Noble celebrating their union in Dillon, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York. Charles loved to tell the story of how he met Gladys while crashing his future brother-in-law’s wedding. As the jovial, uninvited guest he asked Gladys to dance, repeatedly. She repeatedly said ‘no’. Upon the urging of her cousin Minnie, Gladys said ‘yes’ and they danced ever since.

Gladys comically referred to Charles as her “shadow” since he followed her everywhere. She likes to recite a poem from Robert Louis Stevenson regarding their close bond: “I have a little shadow that goes in and out from me, and what can be the use of him is more than I can see. He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed…One morning, very early, before the sun was up, I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; But my lazy little shadow like an arrant sleepy-head, Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.”

We collectively remember his nature as someone always ready to help anyone in distress. Some remember him giving them their first job, their first car, gas during the 1970s energy crisis, money for their utility bills, and credit for car services. While these things are material, his most precious gift to many was the inspiration that he instilled, giving them hopes of a better tomorrow through fellowship with Jesus Christ.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents Henry Johnson, Sr. and Sadie Doby Johnson. Charles leaves behind his dedicated wife Gladys Noble Johnson; children Felicia Mincey (Dale) of Ellenwood, GA, Sandra Brown (Tim) of Long Branch, NJ, Charles Johnson, Jr. of Yuma, AZ, Phedora Johnson of Washington, NC, Dr. Priscilla Johnson of San Francisco, CA, Daniel Tillery (Tosha) of Greenville, NC, Michael Tillery (LaKeisha) of Washington, NC, and Christopher Johnson (Antromeed) of Washington, NC; his beloved nephew, Jeremy “Bear” Johnson McClain of Washington, NC; two sisters Ocia Mae Mitchell of Detroit, MI and Jessie Mae Pope of Washington, NC; Sixteen grandchildren including Brandon Mincey, Pheshetta “Sharee” Johnson Fisher, Nathan Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Nadia Brown, Tim Brown, Jr., Charles Kalvin “CK” Denney, Cameron Sutton, Heleena Glover, Kayla Tillery, Khari Ali, Kaleb Davis, Sydney Johnson, Phoenix Rose Johnson, Danielle Tillery, D’Shae Tillery; a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins; two Godchildren Sheila Carraway and Sylvia Singleton; his closest, devoted friend Charles Carson of Elmira, NY and a strong confidant James “Skip” Freeman of Washington, NC.  He was preceded in death by six of his siblings:  Ernest Johnson, Henry Johnson, Jr., Beatrice Eunice Worten, William (Bill) Johnson, Doby Lee Johnson, and James Johnson.

Charles counted numerous more people as his friends and loved uplifting every person he encountered with words of inspiration and good deeds.

Funeral services will be 1:00PM Sunday, May 24, 2015 at Metropolitan AME Zion Church 102 West Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Washington, North Carolina. Burial will follow at 473 Cherry Run Road Washington, NC.

Visitation will be 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Saturday , May  23, 2015 at L.R. Randolph Memorial Chapel and other times at the home.

Arrangements announced by Leon Randolph Funeral Home, 208 West Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Washington, NC.