Alfred J.'s Story
Alfred Jeremiah Johnson, 85, formerly of Lady Lake, Fla. and South Hamilton, Mass., passed away peacefully on June 23, 2017, at the Reservoir Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Marlborough, Mass.
Born on July 1, 1931, in Boston to the late Alfred and Bridget Theresa (O’Donoghue) Johnson, he graduated from Somerville High School in 1949 before briefly serving in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with an honorable discharge.
He met Renie Georgia Tsioropoulos on a blind date on the eve of her 1953 graduation from Salem Nursing School, and they married on October 14, 1955, in Boston. They moved to South Hamilton in 1959 and together worked hard while raising their three children, being good neighbors, and being actively involved in the Hamilton/Wenham community.
Alfred had started working as a motor truck driver for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the early 1950s. His love of driving and respect for the rules of the road led him to co-found the Hamilton Auto Driving School in February, 1964 with his wife, while maintaining his full-time employment with the Commonwealth. For the next 20 years, he also worked full-time on their business, proudly teaching thousands of students from Hamilton/Wenham Regional High School and from neighboring communities as well as people of all ages and helping them earn their driver’s license. He specialized in individual instruction and patience with his students. After retirement from their business and from the Commonwealth in 1984, he started working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Mass. as a professional driver. Alfred and Renie celebrated 39 years of love and caring until her passing on Christmas morning, 1994.
He married Janet F. (Dwyer/Sullivan) Johnson on May 16, 1999, in Gloucester, Mass. They briefly resided in Magnolia, Mass. before moving to The Villages in Lady Lake, Fla. in September, 1999. They enjoyed traveling and cruising as well as participating in the many activities and clubs offered in The Villages, including the Massachusetts Club. In fact, Alfred, affectionately called “Stretch,” proudly formed the MA Bay State Bocce League there.
On April 19, 2016, Alfred broke his left hip with an unfortunate fall. From that time on, he was a patient at several rehabilitation facilities and hospitals in Florida before his family had him flown privately to a rehabilitation hospital in Worcester, Mass., on September 8.
Alfred’s family is grateful to the doctors, nurses, and rehab staff for his care at The Villages Rehab & Nursing Center in Lady Lake, Fla.; Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital in Worcester, Mass.; The Reservoir Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Marlborough, Mass.; and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.
In addition to his wife, Janet, he leaves his devoted children and their spouses, Michael A. Johnson and Rachel Romero of Marlborough, Mass., Charles G. and Katherine Johnson of Amesbury, Mass. and Mary-Teresa and Craig Smith of Roswell, Ga.; two brothers, Richard and his wife, Dorothy Johnson of Northborough, Mass. and William Johnson of Derry, N.H.; five grandchildren, Andrew Johnson of Somerville, Mass., Mary Kate and Timothy Johnson of Amesbury, Mass., Kyle Smith of Athens, Ga., and Austin Smith of Roswell, Ga.; his sister-in-law, Jan Tsioropoulos of Louisville, Ky.; several nieces and nephews; relatives in Ireland; and many caring and supportive friends and neighbors.
Preparation for burial was entrusted to Graham, Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors of Worcester.
Visiting hours will be held in the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St., Beverly, Thursday, July 13, 2017, from 4 to 7 p.m. followed by closing prayers at 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. A private burial will be in the Hamilton Cemetery on Bay Road in Hamilton. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
Published on  July 11, 2017