Garlen Johnson Sr.

Published 4:19 pm Monday, January 23, 2023

Garlen Johnson Sr.

April 4, 1935–Jan. 20, 2023


Garlen Leo Johnson Sr., born April 4, 1935, formerly of Coal Grove, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Jan. 20, 2023, at SOMC Hospice in Portsmouth.

A son of the late Rufus and Lettie (Duvall) Johnson, Garlen was born in Sandy Hook, Kentucky, raised in the Hanging Rock area and attended Hanging Rock schools.

Garlen worked in Dayton at the Fisher Body Plant and at the Ironton Alpha Portland Cement Plant and he retired from Ironton Dayton Malleable.

Along with being a leather craftsman, Garlen was a pastor at five southern Ohio Missionary Baptist churches, Macedonia, New Valley, Myrtle Ridge, Sheridan and Harmony. He also preached at several of the Ohio Baptist Association meetings.

In addition to his parents, Garlen was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Eloise (Harmon) Johnson; daughter, Sharon Hunt; four sisters, Shirley Womack, Juanita Sharp, Bernice Stanley and Pauline Harshburger; and three brothers, Bob Johnson, Sherman Johnson, and Rufus Johnson Jr.

Garlen is survived by two sons, Steve (Sharon) Johnson, of Smyrna, Tennessee, and Leo (Kim) Johnson, of Ironton; one brother, Sam Johnson, of Ironton; his grandchildren, Chad Hamilton, J.J. and Kellie Hunt, Lane and Carter Johnson; and eight great-grandchildren.

On Friday, a funeral procession will begin lining up at 10:30 a.m. at Phillips Funeral Home, 1004 S. Seventh St., Ironton, and will then depart at 11 a.m. for the graveside service at Woodland Cemetery, with Pastor Ken Gowin officiating.

In lieu of flowers, as Garlen would say, “pay your tithes so you can keep your pies.”

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