James C. Johnson, 84, died Tuesday in Abilene.
He was born March 3, 1930, in Marysville, the son of Carl B. and Isla M. (Robinson) Johnson. Growing up in Marysville he attended local schools, graduated from Marysville High School with the class of 1948 and attended the University of Kansas for one year before entering the Navy in 1951. He played the trumpet in the Navy band. In San Diego he developed a love for Big Band and Jazz music. After his discharge in 1954, he returned to KU to earn his undergraduate and law degree in 1960. On March 1, 1956, he married Fay Helen Phillips. Most of their married life was spent in Abilene. After returning to Abilene he went to work for Robert and Paul Royer, becoming a partner in 1963. He practiced law in Abilene all his life, later going into partnership with Charles Bogan, Jim Winn, Stan Martin and Ben Sexton over the years. In 1991, he was appointed District Judge of the 8th Judicial District, retiring in 2000. During his time as a lawyer, he taught business law at Kansas State University for 25 years. He was preceded in death by two sons, Neil and Carl. He was a member of Elks, Rotary, the Abilene Country Club, the Eisenhower Foundation and served on the board of directors of the Audubon Society of Kansas and the Emma Ballsiger Foundation.
Survived by his wife, Fay Johnson of the home, a daughter, Jan (Zachary) Meyer of Manhattan, and three grandchildren: Marley, Jackson, and Estele Evans, all of Manhattan.
The family has chosen cremation. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. Andrews Catholic Church with Fr. Henry Baxa officiating. A family visitation and luncheon will follow in the parish hall. Inurnment will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial contributions in his name be made to Kansas Nature Conservancy, the Kansas Audubon Society or the Eisenhower Foundation. They may be left at the church the day of the service or left at or sent in care of the Danner Funeral Home POB 758 Abilene, Kansas 67410.