Cover photo for Rufus H. Johnson's Obituary
Rufus H. Johnson Profile Photo
1951 Rufus 2021

Rufus H. Johnson

February 14, 1951 — April 23, 2021

“There is a ship on which we travel;
How long the journey we cannot see.
Long ago it was planned and charted by Him,
Who knows our destiny.
Though we may pass through troubled waters;
One day we’ll reach that peaceful shore
Where there shall be no grief or sadness,
And time itself shall be no more.”

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” ~ II Timothy 4:7

Rufus H. Johnson was born on February 14, 1951 in Franklin, Tennessee to the late Clara Johnson Smith (mother), and grew up on North 6th Street along with Gilbert Nelson Smith (step-father). He attended Meigs High School – where he was recognized by teachers for his advanced knowledge in electronics – and later transferred to Hume Fogg where he graduated in 1969. Shortly after graduating, Rufus enlisted in the United States Army Reserves – serving as a Military Police while also completing Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) School – and was honorably discharged in 1976.

Rufus retired from Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad – now known as CSX – where he worked for over 3 decades and was the 2nd Black electrician and 1st Black President of the Electricians.

He was baptized into Christ at an early age and later attended Ramsey Street Church of Christ before placing his membership at Jackson Street Church of Christ where he worked diligently until his health failed him.
Rufus had a deep love and special bond with his son and grandchildren – appearing at many school activities, sporting events, and dance competitions. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle with El Amigo’s Motorcycle Club, attending motorcycle/car races, traveling, eating out with friends and family, bowling, viewing old Chevys at car shows, working on his hot rods with his son and grandsons, helping others, and walking at the park.
His memories will be cherished by his dear friend Brenda Derrick, his son Rufus Jr. (Nichelle), grandchildren Lauryn, Austin, and Landon, former spouse Gwen Matthews, step-mother Doris Smith, uncle Alonzo Johnson, and host of cousins, classmates, special friends, and railroaders.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rufus H. Johnson, please visit our flower store.


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