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William J. Johnson

GATESVILLE – William Joseph “Bill” Johnson, 96, of 814 Court Street, Gatesville, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Bill was born in HalifaxCounty on April 16, 1919 and was the son of the late Henry Lee and Cedi Brickle Johnson.  A retired inspector with the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation after 48 years of employment, he was a member of Gatesville Baptist Church, Gatesville Masonic Lodge #126, the Roanoke-Chowan Shrine Club, had served on the Gates County Rescue Squad, the Gatesville Volunteer Fire Dept., and as a Scout Master for many years. For over 30 years he dressed and played the part of Santa Claus for the fire department in both the annual Gatesville Christmas Parade, and in the Saturday night before Christmas delivery of candy to the children of Gatesville.

His hobbies included gardening, wine making, wood working, and tending to his bee hives. Dearly committed to his wife and family, he had a twinkle in his eye, a pep in his step, and he always, always loved to dance.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brothers, “Chunk”, Walter, Harold, E.D., and Jesse Johnson.

Surviving are his wife of over 75 years, Dorothy Futrell Johnson; three daughters, Peggy Jean Lawrence and husband Thomas of Lanexa, VA, Judith Anne Smith and granddaughter Holly Michelle of Gatesville, and Billie Jo Simkins and husband Daniel of South Mills; six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Gatesville Baptist Church by the Revs. Ray Brickhouse and Bob Skeens.  Masonic rites will be accorded in the church.  Following the service a private burial will be in the Gatesville Cemetery.

Friends may join the family in the social hall of the church immediately following the service on Tuesday, and all other times at the residence.

Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.millerfhc.com.