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James Franklin Harrison Johnson

Obituary for James Franklin Harrison Johnson

July 6, 1928 - November 11, 2018
Owensboro, Kentucky | Age 90


James Franklin Harrison Johnson, died November 11,2018 (Veterans Day) at age 90. He was a geologist, a man of nature - a farmer, an artist and a poet. He was wise, clever and full of love, but he liked to keep it simple so, we'll keep it short.

He was raised in Frankfort, KY with five siblings; Benjamin P. Johnson, Mary J. Grayson, Ruth J. Goin, Louis M. Johnson and William M. Johnson by their parents Benjamin Priestley Johnson, Sr. and Mary Belle Murray Johnson, all of whom preceded him in death.

A graduate of the Frankfort High School class of 1948, "Crazy Legs Johnson" played to a tie in the State Football Championship against Henry Clay High School. He was inducted into the Frankfort High School Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Jim graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in geology and expanded his love of nature in Colorado while studying at the Colorado School of Mines before returning to University of Kentucky to complete his master's degree in geology/engineering in 1954. He was a true-blue UK fan but expressed disappointment during the first three minutes of the Duke game last week, so he took a nap instead. Jim also served in the Korean War as an Air Force First Lieutenant for the 305th (Can-Do) Bombardment Group.

It was 63 years ago when he married our mom; Joyce, which worked out pretty well for us. Their love has been a guiding star for us as we navigate our lives and attempt to understand the respect and tenderness that endures a lifetime. Their time here together ended on July 29, 2014 when she entered into Heaven.

Jim moved from Lexington to Owensboro with his new bride in 1955 and began his career (and a family) as a geologist and engineer for Har-Ken Oil Company/Crescent Drilling Company where he worked until 1997, serving as Vice President for many years. He remained active in oil and gas exploration until 2018 and loathed to say he had ever retired from the job he loved.

He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Owensboro, and Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples, FL.

Jim's children; Susie (Steve) Hampson, of Lexington, Jim Clark Johnson of Owensboro, and David (Margaret) Johnson of Brentwood, TN, as well as his grandchildren; Stu and Katie Hampson, Harrison, Clay, Mary Grace and Margaret Belle and Ford Johnson and several nieces and nephews survive him - we celebrate his life. We know our mom (Honey) is waiting for him - as well as his loving family and many friends. In the joyfulness of that, we find grace.

He has explored many parts of the world and spent peaceful winters surrounded by the beauty of Naples, FL for several decades, but Kentucky has always been the piece of nature truest to his heart. We know his abiding love of nature will continue to flourish in all our hearts.

Visitation will be from 3:30 until 6:30 PM (CST), Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory. A private graveside service will be held at Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, KY.

In lieu of contributions, please take a walk in the woods, or the mountains, or on a beach and experience the wonder of the world.

Memories and condolences for the family of Jim Johnson may be shared at

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Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory

900 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303
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