May 30, 1938 ~ September 15, 2022
Born in: Beulah, MS
Resided in: Indianapolis, IN
Leroy Johnson, the son of Jesse and Sinnie Johnson Jr., was born May 30, 1938, in Beulah, Mississippi. He was one of seven children in his household. At a young age, he and his family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Leroy was determined to get the things he wanted and live life by his standards. At an early age, his family saw him as strong willed, independent and determined; characteristics that he demonstrated throughout his life. As a teenager he worked as a cotton picker to help support his family. In 1953, Leroy relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana, where his mother and siblings had already lived to be closer with family. Once in Indianapolis, Leroy continued going to school and working. He would go on to graduate from Crispus Attucks High School in 1956 and took HVAC courses at IVY Tech Community College.
Leroy was a master organizer, handyman and Jack of All Trades. In the late 60’s and 70’s, he became a construction worker. One of Leroy’s most beloved jobs was helping to build the Pyramids located at College Park on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. In 1974, Leroy became a Press Operator and made parts for Humvees (used for the military) and Hummer cars at AM General. He worked at AM General until his retirement in 1997. He loved Hummers and dreamed of owning one, which he did in the latter years of his life.
Wed to Patsy Johnson on June 19, 1977, the couple celebrated 45 years of marriage as best friends and soulmates until the end.
Leroy accepted Christ later in life. A chance encounter with a believer was the nudge needed for him to build a personal relationship with his Lord and Savior. The man began ministering to Leroy about the goodness of God and by the time they finished, Leroy agreed to have weekly in-home bible study lessons spanning over two years. Around 2005, at the age of 67, Leroy decided to give his life to Christ and joined Christian Community Missionary Baptist Church. Immediately upon joining, Leroy was baptized and became an active member of the church. He attended weekly bible study classes and Men’s Group, took a major part in the church play, helped with the church garden, enrolled in technology classes and occasionally sang with the male chorus. Years later, he would begin fellowshipping regularly with his family’s church, Divine Direction Christian Church.
Leroy was a true foodie. He was an amazing baker and expert gardener who maintained several gardens around the city until 2020 when he could no longer due to failing health. Leroy loved technology, dogs, reading the daily newspaper, listening to music, and lived for cookouts, family gatherings, and driving to IU with his wife to visit their youngest daughter. Quick witted with a great sense of humor, whimsy and spontaneity, Leroy embodied joy and laughter. He’d burst into song and make up rhymes. Leroy was very observant and had a big heart. He was intentional, always armed with food and individualized gifts based on people’s needs and interests.
Leroy enjoyed playing cards with his wife, brother, children and niece, Cynthia. He loved all things about cars. He owned countless vehicles throughout his life that he took joy in maintaining them. A true student of life, Leroy frequently visited the library to learn everything he could about his interests and encouraged those around him to constantly seek knowledge.
A true people person, who never met a stranger, and was always willing to help someone in need, he was happiest when surrounded by his family. Leroy departed from this earthly life on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at the age of 84 at home surrounded by family and loved ones. His parents, Jesse and Sinnie Johnson; children: Richard Allen, Sheryl Croney and Julia Johnson; sister, Vernice Johnson and brother, Cleophus all preceded him in death.
Leroy leaves to cherish his memory: wife, Patsy; two sons, Leroy Jr. (Barbara) and Brian; five daughters: Teresa Hudson (Charles Sr.), Connie Johnson, Diane Croney, Sheresa Cushenberry-Bradford and Shernika Jones (Sean); twenty grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; two brothers, Cornelious and Melvin (Linda); two sisters, Dorisene Smith and Jacqueline Hayworth; and a host of relatives and friends.