Wilborn (Will) Jabe Johnson

Funeral services for Mr. Wilborn (Will) Jabe Johnson, 87, of Henderson, were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019, at the Rader Funeral Home chapel with the Reverend Mike Ledbetter officiating.  A private family burial followed at Bethel Cemetery under the direction of Rader Funeral Home.  

The family received friends one hour prior to the service at 10 a.m. at the funeral home.

Mr. Johnson passed from this life on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at Autumn Leaves Nursing Home. He was born on April 3, 1932, in Troup, to the late Jabe Johnson and Eunice Wilborn Jones.

After graduating from Henderson High School, Will served his country in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict. He served on the U.S.S. Valley Forge, the U.S.S. Bennington, and the U.S.S. Lake Chaplain aircraft carriers, achieving the rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer. In later years, he enjoyed sharing stories of war-time, particularly his survival of an explosion aboard the U.S.S. Bennington. In addition, Will was recently reunited with one of his Navy buddies, Del Sheldon of Grayling, Mich.

Following his honorable discharge from the military, Will returned to Rusk County and married Louette Williams. They were married for 63 years and worked side-by-side to build successful building and investment businesses. 

Throughout his career, Will worked with family members and partners to own Johnson Lumber Company, Johnson Brothers Contractors, Shawnee Hardware and Plumbing Company and L&W Contactors.

To ensure that he operated professional businesses, Will attended Henderson Business College for two years, studying bookkeeping and accounting.  Due to the success of years of building, many of the neighborhoods and homes in Henderson and throughout East Texas were the result of Will’s vision and honest business ethics.

In later years, Will and his wife Louette owned and operated Johnson Investments, managing numerous rental properties throughout Henderson.

When he was not working, Will loved spending time in the outdoors. From an early age, he was an expert hunter, trapper, and fisherman.  In turn, he taught both of his sons to love the outdoors and took them on many adventures that included hunting in Llano, and fishing in his favorite spots on the Angelina River.  

Most importantly, Will was a faithful Christian.  He was an active church member and deacon at Shawnee Village Baptist Church and continued to serve the Lord in his later life at Southside Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Jimmy Johnson and Olin Johnson and sister, JoNell Lowrey.

Survivors include his wife, Louette Johnson; son, Mark Johnson and wife Patty; son, Jay Johnson and wife Stacey, all of Henderson; granddaughter Kayla Bodiford and husband Cody of Bremond; granddaughter Hollie Kirkner and husband Richard of Henderson; great-granddaughters, Macy and Jolee Bodiford of Bremond; sister, Helen Morris of Turnertown; brother, Roy Johnson and wife Debra of Henderson; and many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Curtis Hamlet, Jeff Johnson, Micah Johnson, Mike Lowrey, Randy Whitehead and Bill Youngblood.

The family would like especially to thank the staff of Autumn Leaves Nursing Home and Angel Care Hospice for their compassionate care for Will during the final months of his life.