US Air Force

Major Gilmer Johnson,USAF, Retired

July 29, 1939 ~ September 28, 2020 (age 81)

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Major Jont Gilmer Johnson, USAF Ret., of Albemarle, North Carolina died Monday, September 28, 2020 at home. He was the son of the late James Gilmer Johnson (Jim) and Faye Pace Johnson Newman Dodson both of Rutherford County and was preceded in death by his brothers, Edward, and Ray Johnson. 

Gilmer was married to his high school sweetheart, Joan Robertson Johnson who survives him.  He also leaves behind his daughters, Joy Dunbar of Kettering OH and Janice Lee (Dennis) of Ansonville NC , grandsons Eli  and Joel Dunbar, granddaughters Danielle and Laura Jo Lee, five great grandchildren,  his sisters, Doris Bradley of Forest City NC and Barbara Harris of Old Fort, NC, and  his brother, Roy Johnson of Harmony, Fl.   He held the Newman children James, Steve, Marilyn, and Carolyn in his heart.  And Grandpa O.T. Dodson was dear to all of us.

Major Johnson enlisted in the United States Air Force in August 1958 and was serving as a master sergeant when he was selected for a commission as a second lieutenant.  He was a Vietnam and cold war veteran with various assignments, and changed duty stations many times in his 31year career.  His “AFA1C” was Transportation

His greatest desire was to be a Godly man in all his ways.   Wherever he lived, he was actively involved in his church and was described by some peers as a “preacher type”.  His first job was starting the fire before church at Oak Springs Baptist church.  He has served in many capacities in the churches along his journey from custodian to Deacon Chair and sometimes filled the pulpit.  He collected hunting and woodworking magazines and never complained that he seldom had the stamina to follow through because he had experience lung damage in 1958.  He sang, whistled and was quietly mischievous.

He loved and was loved, and his family will forever praise God for the gift of him.

A family farewell to Gilmer will be held privately for family members on Thursday, October 1, 2020 in The Padgett and King Chapel. 

A graveside service will be held for all to attend at 3:30 PM on Thursday at Oak Springs Baptist Church Cemetery on Rock Road, Rutherfordton, North Carolina with full military honors accorded by the United States Air Force. 

Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Stanley Community Christian Ministry, Post Office Box 58, Albemarle, North Carolina 28002.

The graveside service will be live streamed via the Padgett & King Mortuary & Crematory face book page.

The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Major Gilmer Johnson,USAF, Retired, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
October 1, 2020

3:30 PM
Oak Springs Baptist Church Cemetery
2625 Rock Road
Union Mills, NC 28167

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