Esco Johnson

Esco Carl Johnson, Jr., age 96, of Fairview, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.

Born May 7, 1919, he was a son of the late Esco Carl Johnson, Sr., and Birdie Sayre Johnson Sharp.

At the age of 13, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personnel Saviour at the Fairview Church, Pastor Sloan was the minister. He was later baptized in the Greenbrier River.

Esco worked as a Security Policeman at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., where he met Vice President Harry S. Truman. After a brief conversation with Truman, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During World War II (The Greatest Generation), he served in the 2nd Marine Division in the Pacific and was injured when a Kamikaze hit his troop transport. He received the Purple Heart and other medals. After recovering on the Florence Nightingale Hospital Ship, he was again thrust into action when he was ordered to be in the first wave of the invasion of the mainland of Japan. While preparing for the invasion of Blue Beach on the troop transport USS Grimes, the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The next two years Esco was involved in the occupation of Japan, within five miles of Nagasaki.

After World War II, Esco worked as a civilian at the Defense Department Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio. After this retirement, he and his wife, Ellen, spent time between Columbus, Ohio, and Marlinton.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Nellie Elizabeth Johnson; a son, Ronald E. Johnson; step-father, Jacob W. Sharp; and a half-sister, Jewel B. Sharp Murphy.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Birdie Ellen Johnson; his son, Richard; daughter-in-law, Sandra; granddaughter, Bethany Johnson; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral service was August 30 at VanReenen Funeral Home with Pastor Caleb Barkley officiating. Interment was in Mountain View Cemetery in Marlinton. Following the interment, a time of reflection was held at the Grace Baptist Church in Marlinton.

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