James Arthur Johnson Obituary

1931 ~ 2023

92 Years Old


A life lived for 92 years can only be described as blessed.  James’ life was filled with trials and tribulations, but along with that came the most joyous times and confirmation that his life was the definition of the word blessed.  He saw many changes, both good and bad, through the years and the stories he could tell would likely be unbelievable to many people these days but he lived it.  He loved, lost, sacrificed, gave of himself and even relaxed a bit during his tenure here on earth.  On Wednesday, September 27, James made it to his final destination to sit by the side of his Savior.

James was born in the beautiful piney woods of Douglass and was raised alongside his 11 siblings.  His childhood and young adult life brought him a work ethic and morals that were rooted deep in his soul.  His parents taught him that working hard for what you want was the only way to get anything.  He learned the ins and outs of clean country living while on the farm in Alazan and these lessons never left his mind.  He and his siblings grew to love being outside and took great pride in the ability to grow what they needed to survive and provide a comfortable life with their own hands. 

In 1952, James was working on a cotton farm near Waxahachie when a young woman named Betty Beets caught his eye.   The two were immediately smitten and after 3 months, they were united in marriage.  They were blessed with the addition of their 3 children and James’ heart was full.  He worked at Nibco for over 38 years to provide for his family but never gave up his passion for farming.  Each summer he had the most beautiful and prosperous garden….even when he lived in town! With the addition of grandchildren, they both felt deep joy that can only be found in the hearts of grandparents.  He and Betty spent the next 41 years by each other’s side until her passing in 1995.  They were blessed with everything from their family to the love they shared.  He was also blessed to still own his daddy’s car which he named “Old Blue” —- a beautifully restored 1955 Chevy Bellaire.

After losing his precious Betty, James was blessed, once again, to find love.  He married Leta in 2004 after meeting her in McDonalds while enjoying a cup of coffee.  They have made many memories over the past 18 years that were treasured moments in James’ life.  Their days were filled with time spent in the garden and at “the park” in the beautiful backyard they enjoyed so much.

James was young at heart and enjoyed his walks to keep himself fit, which likely explained how he never actually looked his age.  He was witty, charming, funny and could always be counted on to tell you the truth….even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.  He enjoyed the company of people.  He never met a stranger and would make new friends everywhere he went.  He will forever be the reminder that no matter what you have or do not have….you are still BLESSED.

James is survived by his wife, Leta Johnson of Nacogdoches; children, Nancy Raines & husband, Kent of Nacogdoches, Cindi Bryan of Lufkin and Brenda Johnson Eshragh of Las Vegas; grandchildren, Tracy Brown & wife, Brandy of Nacogdoches, Kendra Raines of Nacogdoches, Kyle Sockwell & wife, Maria of Nacogdoches, Kelsie Adair & husband, Casey of Timpson, Amanda Pontalla & husband, Eric of Las Vegas and Justin Eshragh of Las Vegas, great grandchildren, Skylon, Chayson, Karson, Kylie, Brody, Kaden, Drake and Noah; sister-in-law, Joyce Johnson and numerous nieces and nephews.  James is also survived by Leta’s children and grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Johnson; parents, H.L. & Vellie Johnson as well as each of his siblings.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Arthur Johnson, please visit our floral store.