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William "Will" Johnson '86 March 8, 2024 11:05 AM updated: March 8, 2024 11:20 AM

William James "Will" Johnson 

February 12, 1964 - February 24, 2024 

William James Johnson, of Palestine, Texas, a cherished educator, devoted family man, and proud veteran, passed away surrounded by the love and warmth of his family on Saturday, the 24th day of February 2024. "Will" as he was best known, entered Heaven's gates at the age of 60. He was born in Fort Worth, Texas on the 12th day of February 1964, to Barbara Denny Johnson.

Born into a family that valued education and service, Will pursued his academic goals with vigor, earning a master's degree and graduating from both Troy University and Texas A&M University. His Aggie Spirit was a vibrant thread throughout his life, influencing his love for football and his enthusiastic support for his alma mater's teams. He also had a heart for Grapeland, a community that he held close. Over the years he formed many relationships that he deeply cherished.

Will's professional journey was marked by his dedication to shaping young minds as a History and Government and Economics Teacher at Grapeland High School. His passion for teaching and his ability to inspire his students will be remembered as one of his most enduring legacies. Will's commitment to his community was evident through his involvement with the Grapeland Lions Club and his service in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War, where he exemplified courage and patriotism with his Brothers in Arms.

Will was of the Episcopal faith which guided him in his daily life and was a source of comfort to those around him. His interests outside of work and service were simple yet profound. He loved sports, especially football, and could often be found cheering on his favorite teams, especially the Grapeland Sandies, with unbridled enthusiasm.

Family was the foundation of Will's life. He took exceptional care of his mother during her lifetime, a reflection of his unwavering love and respect for her. His affection extended to his canine companions, who were not just pets but beloved members of his family. Will's departure leaves a void in the hearts of those who knew him, but his memory will be cherished and celebrated.

He is preceded in death by his parents Thomas Sr. and Barbara Johnson; grandparents, William Denny and Marjorie Denny, and Kathleen and Buddy Johnson; and his daughter, Anabel Benitez.

Will is survived by his loving wife Christy Johnson; son, Kyle Carter and wife Diana, of Fort Worth, Texas; daughter, Anna Carter and husband Fabian Martin, of Palestine, Texas; sister, Jennifer Prout and husband Darren Froemming, of Tulsa, Oklahoma; his brother, Tommy Johnson, of Grapeland, Texas; and his granddaughter, Brooklyn Martin. Will's other family members he held deeply in his heart as well, including his aunt and uncles, Bill and Jerry Denny, and William Denny, and his nephews, Tyler Dean Johnson, Christopher Logan Johnson, Caleb Everett Johnson, and Payton James Prout, along with many friends.

Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from six o'clock until eight o'clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 28th day of February 2024 at Rhone Funeral Home in Palestine.

Funeral services to honor Will Johnson's life are to be conducted at three o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 29th day of February 2024 in the Lorena Schoultz Auditorium, 116 W. Myrtle St., Grapeland, Texas 75844, with Dr. Don Jackson officiating the service. Following the service, the family will have a private interment in Davis Cemetery.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Tommy Johnson, Payton Prout, Fabian Martin, Kyle Carter, Jason Jones, and Darren Froemming. Honorary pallbearers include Sean Richardson and Rowland Steele.

Funeral services for William James Johnson are in care of Rhone Funeral Home, 3900 S. State Highway 19, Palestine, Texas. 


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