Dr. Bob Tom Johnson, 80, passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at his
residence in Forest, Mississippi. Funeral visitation will be held Sunday, November
5, 2023, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Ott and Lee Forest, and Monday, November 6,
2023, from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held following visitation
at 1:00 at Forest Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Pulaski Cemetery in
Pulaski, Mississippi. Pastor Reid Stevens will officiate the service and Pastor Bobo
Phillipson will officiate the graveside service under the direction of Ott and Lee
Bob Tom was born to Jesse Clemon and Zola Carrie Miles Johnson on February
15, 1943, in Pulaski, Mississippi. Bob Tom graduated from Morton High School in
Morton, Mississippi in 1961. He was awarded a basketball scholarship to play for
Denver Brackeen at East Central Junior College in Decatur, Mississippi. While at
ECJC, he met his future wife, Ellen Elizabeth Thompson. He formed an
immediate bond with his basketball teammates at ECJC and they shared a lifetime
friendship. He transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi to become part
of the Golden Giants Basketball team. This “special group” was known as the
“Green Team” and they enjoyed annual weekend get-togethers to reminisce. Bob
Tom obtained a B.S. and M.Ed. He coached high school boys basketball in
Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He later returned to ECJC serving as Dean of Men and
Instructor. Bob Tom worked for Scott County Schools, serving as Director of
Federal Programs. He returned to Mississippi State University to obtain his
Doctorate degree. He served as Staff Specialist, Mississippi Educational Services
Center, Division of Continuing Education, MSU. Returning to Scott County, he
continued to serve as Director of Federal Programs and Assistant Superintendent of
Education. Upon graduation, he was selected as Executive Director, Mississippi
State Textbook Procurement Commission. The following year, moving under the
umbrella of the Mississippi State Department of Education, he served as Director
of Division of Curriculum and Textbooks, Division of Minimum Programs, and
Teacher Certification. He taught as an adjunct professor in higher education
which included: Mississippi State University, Delta State University, Jackson
State University, and Mississippi College. After retiring from MDE, he began a
career as an independent sales representative for several educational publishing
companies and did consultant work for the Department of Textbooks with MDE.
He was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at East Central Community
College in 2005.
Bob Tom was a member of several professional organizations, including Phi Delta
Kappa, the National Association of State Textbook Administrators (NASTA),
serving as Secretary, Vice-President, President, and Representative from NASTA
to the Advisory Commission of Textbook Specifications, and National Council of
Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
He co-authored “Accountability and Instructional Management (AIM) Handbook
for the Scott County Schools”, “A Model for the Prevention and Reduction of
School Dropouts”, and his dissertation “Principals’ Appraisal of the Management
System of the Central Offices in the Public School Districts of Mississippi”.
Bob Tom delivered the keynote address at the annual convention of the American
Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky. He also served on the panel
for the Tennessee Book Company.
Bob Tom enjoyed talking on his Ham Radio and going to Ham Fests and learning
new things about it. K5ZLZ has signed off. His greatest pastime was driving a
charter bus with Bus Supply Charters, Incorporated, which took him all over the
United States and introduced him to many new people. He never met a stranger. He
loved talking to people everywhere he went. He was an avid reader who
particularly enjoyed the author, Pat Conroy. In recent weeks, Bob Tom and Ellen
had visited the Conroy Literary Center and gravesite in Beaufort, South Carolina.
He sometimes would read two books a week in addition to studying his Bible and
Sunday School lessons.
He was a faithful member of Forest Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon
and Sunday School Teacher for many years. He was a very kind and caring person,
always willing to help in any situation. He was a true Southern gentleman. He
was the same person today as yesterday and was always good for his word.
Bob Tom is preceded in death by his parents, J.C. and Zola Miles Johnson;
Step-mother, Gladys Shelton Johnson; Son, Bob Tom Johnson, Junior; Sister, Ruby
Nell Johnson Stancill; and Brother, James Russell Johnson.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Ellen Thompson Johnson; daughter,
Amy Johnson Easton (Aaron) of Spring Hill, Tennessee; son, Jay Miles Johnson
(Ruby) of Pulaski, Mississippi; and daughter, Joy Johnson Lowrey of Louisville,
Mississippi; grandchildren, Jonathan McGriff (Samantha) of Newport News,
Virginia; Carrie Smith (Andrew) of Pulaski, Mississippi; Matlyn Lowrey and
Marley Lowrey of Louisville, Mississippi; Jayden Johnson of Pulaski, Mississippi;
Ainsley Easton and Alivia Easton of Spring Hill, Tennessee; great grand sons,
Asher and Cody Smith of Pulaski, Mississippi.
Serving as pallbearers are Allan Atkison, Butch Barton, Johnny Emmons, Drew
Kenna, Charlie May, Terry McMillan, Bingham Moncrief, and Bobby Shumaker.
Honorary pallbearers are the Joy Makers Sunday School Class.
Visitation will be Sunday, November 5th from 5-8pm, followed by a second visitation Monday, November 6th from 11-12:30pm at Ott and Lee of Forest.
Funeral Service will be Monday, November 6th at 1pm at Forest Baptist Church.