Jacob Kinza Johnson, Jr., "Jay", 44, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, June 12, 2015, from a tragic accident. Jay was born on September 8, 1970 in Madison, Florida. He was a graduate of Madison County High School, North Florida Junior College, and Florida State University with degrees in both real estate and marketing.
He was not only the President of Johnson and Johnson, Incorporated, but a visionary who loved business and saw it as a vehicle to improve the community and the lives of others. Jay began learning the love of the business when he was very young, riding with his father in the gasoline truck delivering fuel. He worked at Yellow Pine Truck Stop changing tires and pumping gas throughout each summer and in high school, and when he returned from college, put his degrees to use by starting a propane company.
He was instrumental in the tremendous growth of Johnson and Johnson, Inc., and the development of the Busy Bee brand. Jay was a devoted Christian who "walked the Walk and talked the Talk" being described by friends, family and business associates as dedicated to the principles of God and family. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, having served as Chairman of the Board.
Jay also enjoyed coaching his sons' baseball teams when they learned to play baseball, improving the fields, and sponsoring teams. He was a founding member and served as Vice-President of the James Madison Preparatory High School. He was a Director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. Jay also served as a member of the Advisory Board for Jobs and Prosperity Task Force, and he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to an industry committee. Jay received several other awards for his outstanding leadership in many different organizations in the education, real estate and petroleum industries.
He enjoyed spending time with his family fishing, hunting, at baseball games, and traveling. He was well read, and began and ended the day with his Bible. Jay was a deep thinker whose brain was in constant motion, solving problems positively from how to more efficiently ship fuel tankers to how Noah actually built the ark with limited tools. Jay had a smile for everyone, and this positive attitude and heart full of thankfulness came from a deep confidence that he was blessed by God, witnessed every single day when he answered, "Blessed" if asked how he was doing.
He is survived by his loving wife, Karen Annette Johnson (Houser) and two sons, Jacob Lewis Johnson, and Jarod Kinza Johnson; his parents, Jacob K. Johnson and Jacqueline P. Johnson of Madison, Florida; her parents, Delmar and Karen Houser of Madison, Florida; two sisters, Mary Bess Wilson (William) of Destin, Florida, and Elizabeth Waring (Lucas) of St. Augustine, Florida; many nieces and nephews he enjoyed entertaining with his humor and wit, and a host of other family members, as well as the entire Madison community.
Jay Johnson saw in people their true potential even if they did not see it in themselves, and helped coach them to cross the finish line, hammering home that their success was achievable. May each of us who were privileged enough to have been a part of his life, rise and meet the true potential that Jay could see, never forgetting his encouragement and persistence. Hammer Down!
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 19, 2015, at 3:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, 348 Southwest Rutledge Street, Madison, Florida, 32340. Visitation will be held from 1:00 until 3:00 pm at the church prior to the funeral. Interment will be at Oak Ridge Cemetery following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the Jay Johnson Memorial Fund has been established at Madison County Community Bank, 301 East Base Street, Madison, Florida, 32340, for donations to youth programs. Contributions to The Madison County Friends of the Hospital, Incorporated, at 309 Northeast Marion Street, Madison, Florida, 32340, would also honor Jay's life and memory.