Obituary: Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson OBIT

Timothy Johnson, taken too soon from all those who loved him, passed away at the age of 65 shortly after learning that he had developed metastatic lung cancer.

Timothy was born the son of Charles and Fannie Collier in Atlanta, GA. The second of six children, Tim was always the leader. The other children in the neighborhood followed as he led them in games such as jumping over fences or competing in races. Tim was a child whose personality and drive made people want to help him to succeed. Any opportunity that was offered to him, he took to heart and strove to excel.

Following high-school graduation, Tim was granted full scholarship to Earlham College, a Quaker school in south-eastern Indiana. His first time away from home, he was “adopted” into the family of one of his professors. Sam and Ruth considered him one of the “kids” and he became big brother to the Neff children, spending many hours attending their sporting events, helping them with their musical instruments, and enjoying the company of this vibrant and generous family.

In 1982 Tim met Elizabeth Coulter at an International Folk-Dance evening. They soon became good friends, enjoying both dancing and running together. Tim was shy, never having even dated, and so it fell upon Beth to ratchet up the relationship to one of romance. It took her six years to convince him that she would love him forever; they were married in 1988 on Christmas Eve.

A true “Renaissance Man”, Tim excelled in everything he pursued. He held a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and a masters in exercise physiology. He was a gifted musician who played trombone in high school and college, and later as an adult found great pleasure in playing handbells. Tim was a competitive athlete, especially in track and field. Even in the past several years of his life he trained hard to excel at the Senior Olympic Games in New Mexico, and was very proud of his gold medals in the standing long-jump.  Tim was a great do-it-yourselfer who could fix almost anything. A self-taught artist, friends enjoyed his beautifully calligraphied envelopes at Christmas time and personalized cards. When Tim and Beth moved to Los Alamos in 2006, he took up landscaping, making the steep slope in front of the house into a beautiful and unique terraced garden.

Timothy was preceded in death by his father, Charles Johnson. He leaves behind his loving wife of 31 years, Elizabeth, his mother, Fannie Johnson, and five siblings: Joel Petty, Victor Johnson (Bernadette), Peter Johnson (Miriam), Teresa Johnson, and Chris Johnson. Tim is remembered by so many for his warm smile, his kindness and generosity, and his love of family and friends. We trust that he is now at peace in the loving arms of his Lord. We thank the Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service, especially Elena and Erlinda, for their care during Tim’s final days. Once we are able to gather, a memorial service will be held at the United Church of Los Alamos. The family of Timothy Johnson has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley, (505) 747-7477 –