Duane Johnson

Obituary of Duane Johnson

CAYCE—Mr. Duane Beverly Johnson, Sr., 97, passed away July 22, 2011, at home where his loving family supported him during his short illness. He was a son of Estice and Ethel Mack Johnson. Visitation will be Monday, July 25, 2011, from 6-8 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home, 200 State Street, West Columbia. Funeral services will be at State Street Baptist Church, 1420 State Street, Cayce, on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 2 p.m., Dr. Tommy Pillow and Dr. Pete Cassidy officiating, burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery, North, SC. Born March 5, 1914, in the town of North, SC, Duane came of age during the Great Depression. At an early age, he was baptized at the First Baptist Church of North. In those days, Ethridge's Mill Pond supplied electricity for the town, but only during early evening hours. Daytime electricity was available just one day a week. It was called "ironing day". Duane had a great singing voice. Growing up, he performed in local minstrels and stage performances, enjoyed silent movies, with the theater manager reading the words on the screen to the children, enjoyed playing sandlot baseball, as well as for North High School, and especially enjoyed fishing and hunting with his older brother. The Great Depression shaped his character in many ways, and taught him to be a careful steward of material things, and a humble recipient of God's blessings. Having enrolled at USC with a promissory note from his father on the first bale of cotton to be sold that fall, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He was an Eagle Scout, a fisherman and hunter, and provided many excellent meals of wild game and fish for his family. Before WWII, Duane worked for the Coca-Cola Company as a truck driver and delivery man. The office at the Guignard Brick Works had the only air-conditioned office on his route. The "air conditioner" was an electric fan aimed at a large wash tub containing a block of ice. During World War II, Mr. Johnson served with the US Navy at Jacksonville Navy Base. At the time of the war, he was 30 years old with a wife and two children. Just as the war ended, his third child was born, and the Navy decreed that men with three children could go home. Always afterward, he joked that he "fought the battle of Jacksonville". Duane brought his family back to their house in Cayce, which they had rented out to a military couple stationed at Fort Jackson. He bought the house at 1605 State Street in 1941 and lived there until his death. Always a believer in zero debt, he "did without" in order to pay ahead on his mortgage. He paid off the house in five years at a total cost of $5,500, and he never owned a credit card. After the war, he worked for Curtiss Candy Company as a route salesman to rural grocery stores all over Lexington County. To his children and their friends, he was known as "The Candy Man" who brought home melted candy bars for their enjoyment. On hot summer evenings, after a full day of work, "D.B." would take his family for a swim in the icy, swift waters of Sandy Run Creek, where he taught each child to swim. "D.B." and his wife, Nevelyn, were early members of State Street Baptist Church. He served numerous terms on the church's Board of Deacons, sang in the church choir, and served on the visitation committee with his Pastor, Dr. Pete Cassidy. In later years, he enjoyed his many friends at the Seniorcise Class at Tri-City Leisure Center. Mr. Johnson was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Nevelyn Mack Johnson; his son, Duane Johnson, Jr.; his parents, Estice and Ethel Mack Johnson; his sisters, Ethel and Bootsie; his brother, John; and son-in-law, Eddie Addy. He is survived by two daughters, Beverly Chisolm (Bill), and Ann Calk (John); son, Bruce Johnson; daughter-in-law, Julia Johnson; niece, Edy Bosworth. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Bill Chisolm, III (Ruth), Carolina Cooper (Joel), Hank Addy (Dina), Rebecca LeRoy (Sean), Rodney Johnson (Kate), Alex Johnson, and Olivia Johnson; and eleven great grandchildren, Sarah and Andrew Chisolm, Nathaniel, Claire and Hampton Cooper, Noah, Bryce and Matthew Addy, and Maeghan, Kaylin and Iain LeRoy. The family wishes to thank Hospice Care of South Carolina for their excellent care. Nurses Cindy and Kay, and Chaplain Chuck made our loved one's last days more comfortable. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to State Street Baptist Church Capital Fund or Jimmy Quinn Scholarship Fund, 1420 State Street, Cayce, SC 29033. Online condolences may be sent to the Johnson family at www.thompsonsfuneral.com.
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