James R Johnson D.O. passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Wednesday July 17, 2019 in Ocala, Florida. He was born in Tulsa, OK to Helen and J.B. Johnson. The oldest of three boys, he enjoyed riding his bike and learning to build and fix things. He was on the school track team, played clarinet in the band, and played handbells at the Methodist Church in Tulsa.
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Jim graduated from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK and received his medical degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO. After his medical internship in Tulsa, he was drafted into the Army where he became a flight surgeon based at Fort Rucker, AL. Upon discharge from the Army, he moved to Mount Clemens, MI to complete a general surgery residency and met Kathy, a nurse, who would go on to become his wife in 1996. He opened a surgical practice in Traverse City, MI with a close friend and classmate. Following his 18 years in Traverse City, he moved to Reed City, MI to practice with his son, Dr. Christopher Johnson. In 1999 he retired to Florida and enjoyed traveling, family activities and spending the summers on his boat fishing on Lake Michigan. In 2005, Jim and Kathy joined the Indian Health Service and together practiced in Fort Defiance, AZ working with the Navajo for 2 ½ amazing years. Jim survived pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in 2008, and went on to enjoy his retirement for another 10 years making him one lucky survivor!
Jim is survived by his wife Kathy, son Christopher (Anita) and daughter Wendy (Mojo) as well as his five grandchildren Clayton, Cara, Connor, Kiah and Milo, brother Steve and nephew Kyle. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Roger.
For those who wish to remember Jim – the family requests donations be made to the Tampa Hope Lodge at 12810 USF Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 or online at