Our family sadly lost its cornerstone on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, in Atlanta, GA, when Wilborn Johnson, Jr. passed away after a year’s long battle with Myleofibrosis cancer.
Wilborn, often times called ‘P’ by his grandchildren or ‘Junior’ by his parents and siblings, was born on February 12, 1952, (age 71) in Fort Belvoir, VA to Wilborn Johnson, Sr. and Martha Sue Johnson. He was the first of four sons and traveled extensively in childhood as a U.S. Army family. Their travels took them to Army bases in Virginia, California, Georgia, Mississippi and Germany.
On June 28, 1975, Wilborn married the love of his life, Deborah (Deb) Hensley in Memphis, Tennessee. They met in Senatobia, MS at Northwest Mississippi Community College and shared 48 years of marriage that took them all over Mississippi, having lived in Senatobia, Jackson, Tupelo, Ocean Springs, and Gautier as well as Pensacola and Gulf Breeze, Florida. He was so proud of his sons Jeffrey Delane Johnson and Jason Eugene Johnson and the fine young men they have grown into.
Wilborn is survived by his wife Deb and children, Jeff (Charlotte) and Jason (Daphne) Johnson. He leaves six loving grandchildren; Ansley Elizabeth Johnson (age 13), Nolan Archer Johnson (age 11), Henry Eugene Johnson (age 9), George Harlow Johnson (age 5), William Townsend Johnson (age 2) and Sophie Eleanor Johnson (age 2). He is also survived by his mother Martha Sue Johnson (Banner, MS), his three brothers David Van Johnson (Olive Branch, MS), Larry Wayne Johnson (Oxford, MS) and Randy Edward Johnson (Peachtree City, GA) and many nieces and nephews, family and friends who loved him dearly. Wilborn was preceded in death by his father, Wilborn Delane Johnson, Sr.
Wilborn served in the United States Army (1970 to 1973) and later graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Business Management degree (1978) and was a proud and faithful Ole Miss Rebel. Following graduation he joined the management team at McRae’s Department Stores in Jackson, MS and later moved to Tupelo, Gautier, Pensacola, FL and Fort Walton Beach, FL from 1979 to 1994. In the summer of 1995, Wilborn joined McGuire’s Management Group in Pensacola, FL and continued his love of retail with McGuire’s restaurant group. He finished his retail management career with Navy Exchange PNS and Battery Source, Pensacola, FL. Retail sales and working with customers and associates was one of the highlights of his life. He loved all aspects of designing, buying and selling products – but, he especially loved meeting new people.
Wilborn was a lover of life and was always open to try new things. He could hold conversation with anyone and was passionate about learning from others. He took every holiday to the next level whether it be the ultimate Christmas light show or the scariest house on the block for Halloween. In his spare time, you would typically find him cooking one of his famous meals, reading the latest John Grisham novel, watching Ole Miss Athletics, enjoying spare time on the beach, jamming to music, traveling to New Orleans, in the company of his best friend in life and love, Deb. He was strong and nurturing. He was a good and loving husband, good father, good son, good brother, and a good friend to so many.
Celebration of life will take place beginning with visitation at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 10, 2023, with funeral services starting at 11:45 a.m. at Rose Lawn Funeral Home, 2942 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL and burial will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, FL, at 2:00 p.m.
The family will receive friends at home following the burial.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Wilborn’s outstanding medical providers and care teams including: William Howe, II, M. D., long time family care physician, Gulf Breeze, FL; Shailesh J. Patel, M. D., Oncologist, and his staff at The Woodlands Medical Center, Pensacola, FL; Nurses Lauren and Jessica at West Florida Hospital Infusion Center, Pensacola, FL; Edmund Waller, M. D., Hematologist/Oncologist and his staff at Emory Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA; and Emory University Hospital, Unit T-9, Atlanta, GA with special heartfelt appreciation to nurses Elaine, Yanet, Monique, Joy, JoAnn, Debby, Erin and Gill. Also to the Unit T-9 care team leader, Talley.
Wilborn was an avid fan of Ole Miss and a member of his local, alumni club. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Greater Pensacola Ole Miss Club Endowment Fund, providing scholarships to local Pensacola area students planning to attend Ole Miss. Donate online at www.umfoundation.com/give or by phone at 662-915-5944. Alternatively, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society which provides support to patients and their families through their cancer treatment. Donate online at https://www.cancer.org/donate/memorial-giving.html or by phone at 800-227-2345.