Johnny Reese Damron, 80, of Akron, went home to be with the Lord surrounded by his loving family on October 1, 2020. Johnny was born in Shelbiana, Kentucky on July 28, 1940. He was the sixth of eleven children born to the late Verlon and Maxie (Blackburn) Damron, whom he loved fiercely. Johnny attended Virgie High School and worked different odd jobs in Kentucky before moving to Akron, Ohio to pursue a job at the Ford Engine Plant in Cleveland for 34 1/2 years.
After retiring from Ford, Johnny enjoyed his time working at the Akron Auto Auction. Johnny was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in the 1st Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One. Johnny never knew a stranger and was always excited to share his stories about his service or brag on his abilities as a cook when he was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas . He received his honorable discharge in 1969. Johnny was a long-time member of Liberty Free Will Baptist Church in Norton where he served the Lord faithfully for over 40 years. He rarely missed a church service, revival, or event. He always wanted to hear his favorite hymn, “I Love the Lord Deep Down in My Heart”, or as he and his church simply call it, “page 8”.
Of the many “hats” that Johnny wore throughout his life, his most favorite was being a Husband, Father, and Papaw. He met the love of his life of 54 years, Jane, and they were married in Clintwood, Virginia on Christmas Eve in 1965. To their union, they were blessed with three loving daughters, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They were his life, and he always made sure to attend every school event, baseball game, piano or dance recital, and any other activities his kids participated in. Johnny especially loved spending weekends with his family at his camper, going “home” to Kentucky, and fishing with his buddies and grandkids.
In addition to his parents, Johnny was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Robin Jane Vallee (Damron) in 2019, as well as brothers, Denver and Paul Dean Damron, and sister, Lois Jean Thacker. Johnny is survived by his wife, Jane, daughters, Johnni Denise Edge of Barberton and Patricia Lois “Tish” Carillon and her husband Bob (who was the son Johnny never had) of Norton; grandchildren, Megan Jane (John), David John (Andrea), Zachary Reese, Katelyn Jane (Ryan), Nicholas Robert and Noah Robert; great-grandchildren, Mayah Denise, John Cal, Kaydence Lee, and Carson Kameron. He is also survived by his siblings, Don Damron of Barberton, Ellen Gaye Millard of Lexington, Kentucky, Sarah Ann Smith of Frankfort, Kentucky, Billy Ed (Sally) Damron of Akron, Minda (Raymond) McCabe of Winchester, Virginia, Linda (Dean) Sawyers of Shelbiana, Kentucky, and Angela (Adam) Robinson of Newport, Virginia; his “osmosis daughter” whom he loved and claimed as his own, Kimberly Sykes of Medina, and her children; Tori and her son Parker, Hannah, and Jacob; special sister-in-law, Darlene Hitchings, many nieces and nephews, his church family, and his best friend, James “Chig” Coleman of New Franklin. Johnny was truly loved by many.
Funeral service will be Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Liberty Free Will Baptist Church, 3819 Johnson Rd., Norton, OH, 44203 with Pastor Cecil Farmer, officiating. Burial with military honors will be at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Calling hours will be on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, with a church celebration service at 7 p.m. The church will follow Covid-19 guidelines requiring facial coverings, and social distancing for calling hours and the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Liberty Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund. Online obituary and guest registry are available at www.zakmonbarrenfh.com
(Zak-Thacker & Monbarren, 330-658-2211)
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Liberty Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund
3819 Johnson Rd., Norton OH 44203