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Memories of a Lifetime of Love
Albert Sidney Johnson passed away on May 27, at his home in Vidalia, Georgia.
Sid was born September 5, 1934 to Albert Sidney and Charlie Will Salter Johnson in Uvalda, Georgia, one month after the death of his father.
A true son of South Georgia, Sid graduated from Vidalia High School in 1952 and graduated from Mercer University in 1956 as the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award. He received a law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. It was at Mercer that he also met his wife of 59 years, Claire Walters Johnson.
After starting a private law practice in 1959, Sid became assistant US Attorney for South Georgia in 1963 and moved to Atlanta to join the Criminal Division of the Georgia Department of Law. He returned to private practice with Gambrell and Mobley before starting Johnson and Montgomery with his friend and law partner Bill Montgomery. He served as DeKalb County Attorney during Manual Maloof’s administration.
Sid was an active community leader in Dynamic DeKalb County, serving in leadership roles with the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, the Democratic Party in DeKalb, Leadership DeKalb, and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. He and Claire attended Oak Grove UMC and enjoyed their friends in the Seekers Class.
After retirement, Sid and Claire returned to South Georgia where he taught Political Science at Brewton Parker College. They attended Vidalia First United Methodist Church where they made and remade many wonderful friendships.
Family was an important part of Sid’s life. He loved his children and grandchildren and was very proud of them. He wrote 2 books on family history and genealogy and maintained the family residence in Long Pond with his beloved uncle, Hunter Johnson and family, where he enjoyed sitting on a rocker as the sun set. He also enjoyed boating on Lake Sinclair and the Georgia coast, where he got to know several members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Sid was a virtuoso piano player, winning state honors in high school, and entertained many with his storytelling, particularly stories about timber rafting on the Altamaha River and ghosts at Long Pond.
Battling through the trials of heart by-pass, strokes, and blindness, he never lost his sense of humor. While in the hospital after a stroke took his eyesight, a nurse asked him, “do you know today’s date?” He replied, “is it Lisa?” The family wants to honor James Kelly, whose service demonstrated sacrificial love and devotion throughout Sid’s years of infirmity.
He is preceded in death by his son Walter Andrew (Theresa). He is survived by his wife and devoted companion Claire Walters Johnson of Reidsville, Georgia, his son Sid (Leslie), and daughter Ginny, and grandchildren Maggie Blow (Caleb), Ryan, Christopher, Valerie, and Rachel.
The funeral service will be held Wednesday, May 30th at 11:00 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church of Vidalia with Reverend Jim Smith and Reverend Gil Watson officiating. Burial will follow in the Long Pond Cemetery in Montgomery County.
The family will receive friends immediately following the burial at the Peter Johnson House in Long Pond.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Albert Sidney Johnson Scholarship Fund, at Brewton-Parker College, P.O. Box 197, Mount Vernon GA 30445.