Jesse Richard Johnson
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Jesse Richard Johnson
  • November 5, 1993 - December 26, 2017
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

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Our precious son, Jesse, was born on November 5, 1993. Words cannot describe our devastation at his sudden passing on December 26, 2017 when Jesse lost his battle with addiction.

Jesse was so kind, and was the most loyal friend to those he loved. He showed incredible artistic talent as early as 3 years-old when he started drawing dragons freehand while looking at the cover of a Disney DVD cover. One of Jesse's paintings at six years old was submitted by his teacher in an age-appropriate contest at the Visual Art Exchange where he won honorary mention. His painting was ultimately chosen to hang in the WRAL Gardens for one year. His talent grew.and grew.and grew.

Jesse was the sweetest child ever. He always responded to "I love you" by saying "I love you more". He would take his Grandmother's hand during church service and it always melted her heart. He would constantly respond "I'm sorry" when, in fact, he had done nothing wrong. He went to a birthday party with school friends in the first grade and when we picked him up, the Mom said "he is the politest child I've ever met". And he was. Jesse had a heart as big as the moon.

Jesse worked downtown at Taz's for about a year after high school and really seemed to enjoy his job. Taz treated Jesse as a son and certainly was a positive influence during this time. Jesse then decided to go to bartending school and was hired at the Marriott Courtyard at Triangle Town Center. He loved his job there as well, and we are grateful for the friends he made. His manager, Scott, cared deeply for Jesse and tried to help him overcome the difficulties of his addiction many times in these last few months. No matter who he met, Jesse made friends and they all saw the love in his heart.

Our lives have been forever changed. Addiction spares no one. We urge you to always let your family know how much you love them, every day, because life changes in a moment.

Left to grieve beyond measure, are Jesse's parents, Ronda and Richard (Dickie) Johnson, his big brother Trent (Katie) Johnson and niece Andie, grandmothers Elgie Ivey and Joan Johnson, his aunt Cathy Kelsay, uncles Mike (Martha) Johnson, Andy Johnson, Dickie (Diana) Ellington, and cousins Amy (Adrian) Schaller, Gray Kelsay, Josie (Ned) Malone, Andrew (Amanda) Johnson, Vann, Emily and Blake Johnson. Jesse also leaves behind his beloved pets, Pebbles and Echo. Special friends that are family include Roger and Pam Evans, Martha Clark and the entire Clark family, all of whom watched our son grow up and were a big part in his life. We have also been blessed by the best girlfriends God has ever made.

We are grateful for the support of the Healing Transitions family support meetings in which we participated the past few months. These are families, just like us, that are struggling with all stages of addiction. They understand where you've been, where you are, and what you're feeling.

Jesse was preceded in death by his grandfathers Jesse Ivey, Andrew Johnson, uncles Kelly Johnson and Mike Kelsay, and friend Charlie Murray who loved our son to pieces. Our hope is that he's finally met his namesake and uncle and that he was greeted heartily by Andy, Mike and Charlie in heaven upon arrival.

The visitation with family will be Wednesday January 3, 2018, at 2:00pm, followed by the service at 3:00pm, at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jesse's honor to Healing Transitions (1251 Goode Street, Raleigh, NC 27603); TROSA (1820 James Street, Durham, NC 27707); SPCA of Wake County (200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, NC 27603); or a charity of your choice. Doing a kind deed for someone in need would also be a great honor.