Paul Richard Thurston Johnson,88, of Chicago, passed away of heart and kidney failure on October 27, 2022. Paul was the beloved husband of Wilma Augusta (nee Held) for over 65 years, the loving father of Paul RT Jr (Renee), Richard PT (Annie), Thurston RP, Julia Ann (Michael) Birnbaum, and Clifford PRT. Cherished “PaPaul” of Elizabeth, Laura, and Christopher Birnbaum, Paul III “Trey”, James, Thomas, Reagan, Tommy, Jackson and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in his death by his grandparents, Thurston William and Mary Etta (nee Suggs) Totter and Richard and Martha (nee Crane) Johnson; his parents, Thomas Richard and Mary (nee Trotter) Johnson; and his sister Mary Carolyn (Bill) (nee Johnson) Brunkhorst.
Paul was born in Warrior, Alabama on Sept 15, 1934. He attended Warrior Elementary, Warrior High School Class of 1952, University of Alabama and University of Illinois at Navy Pier. Paul, a proud Korean war veteran, served in the Army as an Infantryman Staff Sergeant until 1956. As a shoe salesman at Burt’s Shoe Store in Chicago, Paul met the love of his life and best friend, Wilma while fitting her for shoes. They were married a short time later on July 3rd, 1957. In the late 60’s and early 70’s he coached many winning football teams (Spiders) at the Neighborhood Boys Club. Paul worked for over 25 years as a Regional Sales Manager and legal research expert at Callaghan Law Publishers. He was a member of the 47th Ward Republican Party under John Hoellen, ran for alderman in 1987 and was Committeeman and President for the Republican Party 47th Ward in the early 1990’s.
After his retirement he became a Baptist minister (ordained 1999), and served as the pastor of Bowmanville Baptist Church in Chicago, from the mid 1990’s until his death. Paul was known for his quick wit, sense of humor, and storytellings. He was devoted to his family and his church. He loved his annual family reunions in Alabama, he was a Chicago Bears season ticketholder and a lifelong fan of Alabama Crimson Tide football. Paul will be missed by many.
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