Charles Edward “Ed” Johnson Sr., of Manassas, went to be with his beloved wife of 62 years, Dorothy Ann.
Mr. Johnson, who was 88 years “young at heart,” passed away unexpectedly Monday, August 28, 2017.
He was born in Wingina, Nelson County, Virginia, on May 16, 1929, to the late Vallie Mae Shifflett Johnson and Charles S. Johnson.
A resident of Manassas since 1939, Mr. Johnson served in the U.S. Navy from 1947 to 1951, serving on the USS Noble as a machinist’s mate during the Korean War. After returning from service, he met the love of his life, Dorothy Bayne, and they married May 17, 1953. Mr. Johnson worked at his craft of tool and die engineer/inventor at companies in Virginia and eventually started his own machine shop, Johnson Tool & Die, Yorkshire & Lake Jackson, which he operated from 1963 until 2000. Here, he and his sons and trusted crew of machinists created one-of-a-kind products and services for NASA and defense agencies. His love of community led him to serve as president of the Lions Club, an honorary sheriff’s deputy in Prince William County, president of Rotary Club Manassas and Manassas Men’s Club. He was a life member of the NRA and the Northern Virginia Rod & Gun Club. He was a founding president of VGCA Virginia Gun Collectors Association and a member of the Manasseh Masonic Lodge 182, where he was recognized with a Meritorious Citation. He was life member and participant in the North South Skirmish Association, 17th Virginia Infantry, and 7th Virginia, as a competition shooter. He was asked to fire for the 100th year reenactment the “Shot heard around the world at Signal Hill.”
Mr. Johnson was a lifelong self-learner who was a voracious reader with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. With that knowledge and the self-confidence, he was born with, business and personal successes followed. Mr. Johnson could converse with anyone on any subject. At the age of 70, VGCA members were asked to be part of group representing the U.S. in Russia for the anniversary of the Kalashnikov AK 47 invention. Mr. Johnson was a personal friend to Kalashnikov and is mentioned with pictures in his biography, “Kalashnikov: The Inside Story of the Designer and his Weapons.”
Mr. Johnson never lived more than 10 country miles from his family’s home place in Independent Hill. To his brothers, Randolph and Thomas, he was a role model deserving of their love and devotion. To his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, he was larger than life. Although Mr. Johnson strived for perfection, any missteps along his life journey served only to encourage him to succeed and become a better, wiser person — not just for himself but for those he loved and followed in his footsteps.
He was a regular in parades and local events, driving his ’33 Chevrolet or vintage Ford Tractors a d 1956 Chevy. He was also a regular attendee at U.S.S. Noble reunions all over the U.S. for the past two decades. Mr. Johnson was one heck of a BBQ cooker, in the largest grill he made himself, perfect for a whole hog and side of beef.
Survivors include his five children, Cynthia Bugg Salamone of Warrenton, Brenda Osborn of Manassas, Donna Johnson of Charlotte, N.C., Eddie Johnson of Shipman and Keith Johnson of Nokesville; their spouses, Gregory Salamone, Terry Johnson, Loretta Lemons and Henry Osborn; nine grandchildren, Natalie Ann Bugg of Orlando, Fla., Lawrence Edward Bugg of San Francisco, Robert Johnson Bugg of Denver, Charles Edward Johnson III of Manassas, Rachel Anne Johnson of New York, Bucky Osborn of Manassas, Brandon Osborn of Manassas, Tracy Friend of Fredericksburg and Jessie Salamone of St. Louis; his great-grandsons, Ryan M. Bugg of Orlando, Ori (Gigi) Bugg of Denver (his third great-grandson is due this month); his brother, Thomas Johnson and wife Doris of Manassas; his sister-in-law, Sue Dodd of Richmond, and many nieces and nephews he loved as his own.
A brother, Lee Randolph Johnson, preceded him in death.
The service will take place at noon Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Baker-Post Funeral Home, Nokesville Road, Manassas. Interment will follow at Stonewall Memory Gardens. A barbecue reception will take place at the American Legion in Manassas.