Thomas  Johnson


Retired Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Johnson of Sullivan, passed away peacefully at his home on Dec. 15, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was known for presiding over the court with wit and intelligence along with a firm but fair approach from behind the bench. He was a beloved father, grandfather, and husband.
Tom was born Feb. 22, 1948, in Sullivan, to Edward E. Johnson and Sarah (Thompson) Johnson. He attended Sullivan High School and was a member of the graduating class of 1966. Judge Johnson attended Indiana University for undergraduate receiving a degree in business in 1970. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He earned his law degree in 1973 from Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis.
Upon returning to Sullivan, he began practicing law and opened his own title and abstract business. He was elected Sullivan County Prosecutor in 1974, and served one term before being elected Sullivan and Greene County Judge in 1980. Judge Johnson was behind the bench for nearly 30 years until his retirement from the Sullivan County Superior Court in December of 2008. He remained active as a Senior Judge until the birth of his first grandchild in 2013.
He was a member of the Elks Lodge 911, lifetime member of the Indiana University Alumni Association, the National Rifle Association and president of The Apple Club.
Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Johnson enjoyed life, loved his family and valued his many friends. His many interests included travel, restoring antique tractors and hit and miss engines, playing golf and above all else, he was an avid outdoorsman with a passion for wing shooting. Tom took every chance he could to hunt and fish and spent much of his free time training his bird dogs and preparing for his next adventure. The legacy of his spirit and passion for the outdoors will live on through family and friends.
Tom is survived by his wife of 46 years, Jacklyn (Smith) Johnson; his two children, Laura Heape (Ryan) of Indianapolis and Caleb Johnson (Jodeana) of Merom; his grandchildren, Willow Johnson, Katherine Heape and William Johnson; his sister, Jo Ellen Johnson of Sullivan; and a host of nieces, nephews and many wonderful friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward E. Johnson and Sarah (Thompson) Johnson; and his brother, William E. Johnson, DDS. The loss of his presence leaves a tremendous void in the lives of those left behind.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff at Heart to Heart Hospice. Their dedication and effort to provide quality care were a heartwarming blessing to the entire family.
In lieu of a funeral, a private celebration in his memory will be held in the spring. Holmes Memorial Chapel was entrusted with arrangements.
Published on December 16, 2018
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