Life Story / Obituary
Richard Robert Johnson was not a material person. He earned everything that he had and what he lacked in worldly items he made up with in things such as a family that cared for him.
Born on November 13, 1947 in the small country town of Spring City Tennessee, he was the youngest child of John and Lizzie (Cox) Simpson . Given the name of Esco, his mother died when he was just 2 years old and he was primarily raised by his sisters Lovie and Tennga and their families. Other members of his family included his other siblings Judy, Wesley and Verdo.
Never a person who was looking for the spotlight, Esco changed his name in the 1960's to Richard Robert Johnson and preferred to be called Rick. His humble nature made him a good brother, friend, Uncle and co-worker. Rick was blessed to have worked in many different jobs throughout his life including managing several food places, working as a charge nurse at the Kalamazoo State Hospital, a care giver, headed up and ran the central transport department at Bronson Hospital and for 25 years he was the building supervisor at an apartment complex in Indianapolis. Throughout his life Rick lived all over the country but he always said that his favorite place to live was San Francisco.
With all of his life experiences, Rick had a great deal of respect for people and saw that each person that he had contact with was dealt with dignity and care. He could be stubborn at times and had a sarcastic sense of humor but deep down inside he was just an ordinary guy who enjoyed simple things in life such as a can of Coca Cola, cheering on Jeff Gordon, watching television and finding a bargain at the local flea market.
Like so many things in life, the final 6 weeks of Rick's life were also filled with struggles. Through the difficulties he was lovingly cared for by his niece Kathy and her family and his brother-in-law Jim Burns Sr., who he looked up to and considered a Father figure. His niece Kathy was with him when he entered into Rose Arbor Hospice on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 and she was by his side later that day when he passed away. He was given dignity and respect just as he had given so many people throughout his life. His memorial services will be private, like he was in life. His family of several nieces, nephews, cousins and those that knew and loved him will continue to share his story.