Cover photo for George Patton Johnson's Obituary
George Patton Johnson Profile Photo
1946 George 2023

George Patton Johnson

October 3, 1946 — May 25, 2023



Smithfield, NC: Mr. George Patton Johnson, age 76, of Quail Road, peacefully went home to live with our Lord Jesus on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at his residence. A Celebration of Life Service will be held-12:00 PM on June 3, 2023 at Faith Community Church in Clayton, NC. Officiating will be Revs. Brandon Miller, Brian Sutphin, and David Sutphin. Private Burial to follow.

Mr. Johnson was born on October 3, 1946 in Guilford County to the late Parry and Stella Parrish Johnson. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by five older brothers, DC Johnson, JC Johnson, Rabon Johnson, Joseph (Shorty) Johnson, Aubrey Johnson, and three older sisters, Mary Mac Jackson, Josephine Pittman, and Shelby Baker.    

After graduating from Smithfield High School ('66), George spent his career as a darkroom technician and photojournalist with The Smithfield Herald for 32 years. After retirement, he continued to do freelance work for The Herald and worked a number of years at Grifols of Clayton. His photography and developing film in the darkroom was not only a job, but a passion and hobby. Most remember George as always having his camera around his neck. He loved to capture people's faces and had a talent of being able to tell a story through a single photograph.

He was a loving, good-hearted husband, father, Gramps, and friend. He had a way of making those around him feel comfortable, and valued. With a patient and listening ear, he would always give encouraging advice, usually along with one of his sayings. He prided himself on being a simple man, and a man of strong faith. Gentle and forgiving, he lived his life for Jesus and made it his mission to be a blessing to others.

A fan of bluegrass and southern culture, he cherished growing up in rural Johnston County. His pride in where he grew up can be found through his many photographs of natural beauty, old barns and other scenes that capture a bygone era. An outdoorsman, he was happiest being in nature, taking bike rides, hiking and canoeing. He also loved to cook and bake, and was awarded first place for his famous sweet potato pie at both the Ham and Yam and NC State Fair. Never meeting a stranger, he enjoyed talking to people and getting to know their stories. An avid reader, he enjoyed history, especially books about mountain men. Above all, he loved being with his family the most.

Some of his proudest accomplishments, besides his four children, was being a Boy Scout Master for troop 68 in Smithfield, and was the first leader in Johnston County to earn the Wood Badge. George was also the Founding Commander of Royal Ranger Outpost 132 at First Assembly of God in Smithfield. Through these leadership roles, he positively impacted many young lives.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Sandy Johnson; children, Edwin Johnson and wife, Nerissa, Cathy Smith and husband, Joey, Tyler Johnson, and Maggie Cox and husband, Addison; grandchildren, Kyle Smith, Kelci Smith, Henry Johnson, Stella Cox, and Abigail Cox; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive visitors starting at 11:00 AM prior to the service at the church.

The family wishes memorial contributions be made to Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, Faith Community Church, or an organization of your choice.

Arrangements by Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Four Oaks, NC.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 3, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1942

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree