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James Ross Johnson

James Ross Johnson, 86, of Mechanicstown passed away Dec. 24, 2011, in Select Specialty Hospital at Mercy Medical Center in Canton of complications from pneumonia. 

Born Oct. 20, 1925, in Toledo, he was a son of Jesse Lunsford Johnson and Mary Inez Hill-Johnson, who resided in Carrollton for the remainder of his growing years.  Some of his most cherished memories were of his adventures with his siblings and his pals in the rural village.

A life-long resident of Carroll County, he married the former Betty Louise Roudebush June 23, 1943, and they enjoyed 67 years of wedded bliss.

A veteran of World War II, he served in the US Army Transportation Corps in the 723rd Railway Operating Battalion in England, France, Belgium and Germany, eventually attaining the rank of corporal.

His life was lived in the service of others.  He worked for Eljer Company in Salem, where he was active in his local Steelworkers' Union.  He founded and served as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 138 in Mechanicstown and was a 4-H leader with Pioneer Saddle Club.  He was a fine hand with dogs, rescuing and retraining many of them, and a fervent naturalist.  He was a member of Corinth United Presbyterian Church in Mechanicstown, serving one terms as an elder and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  He was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After retiring from Eljer, he owned and operated Town Pump Service Station in Mechanicstown, a favorite gathering place for the locals.  Always quick with counsel and guidance for the town's youth, he continued to lead them by example until his retirement from the station in 1996.

He supported his grandchildren's education, military career, figure skating and musical training.  He loved to listen to good music.  A friend of the family, Los Angeles classical guitarist and composer, Emre Sabuncuoglu, has dedicated his arrangement of Puccini's operatic aria "Nessun dorma" for classical guitar to Ross's memory.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; his daughter, Cheryl Ann Groth; his son, Robert Lynn; an honorary daughter, Tammy Newbold; three grandchildren, John Ross, Eric and Rebecca Groth; an honorary granddaughter, Tammy Newbold; a son-in-law, John; a granddaughter-in-law, Zipporah; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; a cat, Jill; and a dog, Rogue, all whom he loved dearly.

He was preceded in death by his mother; his father; his brother, Robert (Bob) Johnson; and his sister, Betty Eden.

Funeral arrangements were handled by Sweeney-Dodds Funeral Home in Carrollton.  A private graveside service will be held Dec. 28 at Corinth Cemetery in Mechanicstown.  A memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. in Corinth Presbyterian Church in Mechanicstown with Rev. Ryan Hale officiating, followed by a military salute graveside and a community meal to celebrate his life.

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