On Monday, August 29, Irving “Jay” Johnson, passed away at his Portage home at the age of 67. Born to Irving Johnson and Mary (Lubic) Walker. He is predeceased by a brother, Phillip, a grandson Adrian, his step-father Lloyd, along with cousins, aunts and uncles.
Jay is survived by his children Erika and Stephanie; parents Irving (Joyce) and Mary; grandsons Nolan, and Damian; siblings William (Teresa), Mary Kay, Kathy, Sharon (Aaron), Steve and Richard; nephews and their families Shaun (ex-spouse Denise) their children Mackenzie, Michael, Malakhi and Thomas (Stevie) their son Taron; an ex-spouse Laura and many loving cousins, aunts, uncles and dear friends.
Jay served proudly in the Marine Corps in the Infantry as a Grunt Man in the 1970s. He trained at Parris Island, turned down being an officer to serve on any front line as an elite group of men, a Grunt, including two tours in the Mediterranean Sea during the mid-east crisis.
He graduated from Sonoma State University where he majored in Geology. Jay returned to Michigan where he began 31 years of service in the Histology department at Charles River Laboratories. He leaves behind many great memories and friends.
He enjoyed annual camping trips to the UP, traveling cross country to visit friends, family, and Death Valley. Jay was an avid golfer and fantasy sports enthusiast. He devoted his time with family and friends.
Jay wore Maize and Blue, held hope for the Detroit Lions, spent many Friday nights watching Portage Northern Huskies football (his alumni 1972), he looked forward to his golfing league and watching Germany in the World Soccer League. He had a passion for rock collecting and listened to albums from his extensive collection.
Jay’s laughter was contagious and he easily offered help to those in need. His love of family and spending time with friends have created many wonderful memories. He was always ready for a board game, host family gatherings and was present for milestone moments.
He was a loving father, grandfather, son, brother, and uncle. He will be greatly missed.
A visitation for family and close friends will be held at Langeland Funeral Home 622 S. Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI. The date will be posted on their website.