In Memoriam


Tommy E. Johnson
Tommy E. Johnson
Class of 1953


Thomas E. Johnson Sr. CHESAPEAKE - Thomas E. "Tommy" Johnson Sr. passed away peacefully at home June 1, 2008. He was born Oct. 27, 1935, in Wilmington, N.C.

He was a 1953 graduate of Cradock High School and later graduated from University of Richmond. After college, he came home to run the family business, Johnson Optical, and he later became the owner of Johnson-Atwell Opticians. He married his high school sweetheart Gailya Chambers.

He was a member of the Portsmouth Moose, Elks, Lions Club and Elizabeth Manor Country Club. He was a volunteer fire fighter and medic for 17 years, both with the Cradock Fire Department and later with the Western Branch Fire Station No. 12 in Norfolk County where he became a lieutenant. He was also a police officer and larceny detective with the Portsmouth Police Auxiliary for 23 years.

He is survived by his children, Kimberley J. Wagner (Kenneth Wayne) and Thomas E. Johnson Jr. of Chesapeake; two grandchildren, Kimberley W. Sanford (Charles Jay) and Robert Wayne Wagner; and one great-grandchild, Colton Jacob Sanford, whom he adored. He was predeceased by his father and mother, James Henry Johnson and Essie Mae Byrd Johnson; a sister, Nancy Jeanette Thompson; a brother, James Henry "Slick" Johnson Jr., D.D.S.; and his loving wife of 48 years, Gailya Chambers Johnson.

Friends and family may visit at the family residence Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 870 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 404, Chesapeake, VA 23320. Friends may sign condolences online at Burial will be private. The family would like to thank the incredible team of care givers at Bon Secours Home Health and Hospice. The Cremation Society of Virginia is handling arrangements.