Cover photo for Bernard S. Johnson, Sr.'s Obituary
Bernard S. Johnson, Sr. Profile Photo
1938 Bernard 2022

Bernard S. Johnson, Sr.

May 7, 1938 — January 13, 2022

“The Man with the Big Smile”

Bernard S. Johnson, Sr., 83, of Punta Gorda, FL transitioned to glory on January 13, 2022. He laid side by side with his beloved wife of 59 years, Genevieve, where she transitioned 19 hours later.

Bernard was born May 7, 1938, to Earnest and Willie Lee Johnson in West Point, GA. He was the youngest of 5 children, affectionately known as “Shaw” to many in his family. Bernard graduated from Tenth Street High School in 1956 and was valedictorian of his senior class totaling 18 students. Bernard honorably served in the United States Air Force after high school and moved to Buffalo, NY following his service to be near his brother. Soon after his arrival, he met his future wife Genevieve while bowling in a league. They were joined in holy matrimony on December 1, 1962, and were blessed with 5 children.

Bernard worked for Westinghouse as a General Foreman for 21 years until their closure and continued working in the same capacity for Gibraltar Steel until his retirement in 2003. After retiring, they moved to Punta Gorda in April of 2004 and were welcomed shortly after by Hurricane Charlie. Bernard quickly became friends with many residents on his street due to his love to help others in their time of need.

Raised with strong Christian values, Bernard shared a fondness of music and singing with his mother, a musician with the church. He was a long-time member of Pleasant Grove Church in Buffalo, NY where he continued the family tradition, singing with the senior and male choirs. He served as a Trustee and Sunday School Superintendent and took great pride in organizing and directing the annual summer vacation Bible school. After retiring to Florida, Bernard and Genevieve became longstanding members of First Baptist Church in Port Charlotte. He served in many roles including Deacon, Usher, Greeter, Widow’s Ministry, Men’s Bible Group, and many others. He was known for always having a hymn in his back pocket and would render a hymn whenever asked.

Bernard was an avid bird watcher and found joy in putting puzzles together. He could often be found working on his intricate bird feeders, ensuring his birds never went unfed, or working at the table on his latest puzzle. Most importantly, Bernard adored his family. Spending time with his family and friends was extremely important to him. He was known for his all too big smile and his catalog of never-ending puns. Always looking to save a dime, he was an extreme coupon king. He would boast regularly about the amount of money he’d save or when the cashier owed him money. Bernard’s quick wit, friendly smile, generosity, and boundless love will be missed by all who knew him.

Bernard will be deeply missed by his daughter Regina (Terry) Williams; sons Laurence Johnson, Bernard Johnson Jr., and Darryl (Donna) Johnson; brothers George Johnson and Hiram Johnson; sister Emma Johnson; 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Earnest and Willie Lee, daughter Duane E. Hesson, brother Ernest Johnson Jr.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernard S. Johnson, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 27, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 27, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)


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Graveside Service

Thursday, January 27, 2022

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Sarasota National Cemetery

9810 Florida 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

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