Walter W. Johnson, Jr. • January 10, 2023
Walter W. Johnson Jr United States Army (Ret) passed away January 10, 2023 at Covenant Hospice at Sacred Heart Hospital with family members at his side. Walter was born in Birmingham, Al and moved to Pensacola at an early age where he graduated from Pensacola Adult High School. Walter enlisted in the United States Army in 1967, completed boot camp and was assigned a tour in Germany. One of Walter’s fellow soldiers received orders for Viet Nam at which time Walter requested that he be sent to Viet Nam due to fact that his fellow soldier was married with children. Walter was a crewman on a self-propelled 155 howitzer until May 7, 1968 during the Tet offensive at which time his vehicle was struck by direct mortar fire. The only survivor was Walter but suffered serious burns and jumped into a rice patty to extinguish the fire. Walter laid in the stagnant water for over 18 hours until rescue by friendly forces. Unfortunately, he contracted Melioidosis, a disease prevalent to Southeast Asia. Walter spent 2 years at Walter Reed Army Hospital for burn treatments and was told he had a 5-year life expectancy due to the disease and returned to Pensacola after an Honorable Discharge with 100% disability. He became one of the longest living survivors of Melioidosis. His disability did not hinder Walter from having a normal active life.
Walter became very active in organizations devoted to support and guidance to his brother/sister veterans such as Disabled American Veterans Al Gray chapter 23 serving as a Past Commander, Military Order of Purple Heart also as a Past Commander, and National Order of Trench Rats (NOTR) as the Past Golden Rodent. In his later years he took pride volunteering at the V.A. Clinic Pensacola where he provided transport and moral support for his fellow brethren.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents Walter W. Johnson Sr. and Kittie Johnson and his sister Marie Carpenter.
Walter is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marilyn Uva Johnson, his stepchildren Michael Porter (Karen) of Pensacola, Lynn Porter Haslam of Tampa Fl., Ken Porter Jr (Terri) of Valley, Al. and Karen Porter Airaghi (Jack) of Pensacola, his sisters Betty Young, Miriam Burgess of Pensacola and brother Joe (Donna) Gulf Breeze Fl.
Also surviving Walter are his step grandchildren who referred to him as Pop-Pop Matthew Porter (Amanda), Gregory Porter (Jessica), Amanda Leach (Sean), Beth Rodgers (Aaron) and 8 step great grandchildren who called him Great Pops. Walter W. Johnson Jr will be forever missed and loved by his family along with his extended military veteran family. ARMY STRONG!
In lieu of flowers donations would be greatly appreciated to The Disabled American Veterans Al Gray Chapter 23 or The Tunnel to Towers Foundation in his memory.
A very heartfelt thank you to the Cardiac Care Unit 6th floor Sacred Heart Hospital and Covenant Hospice Care at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Visitation will be held at Pensacola Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home on Friday, January 13th, 2022 from 1:00-2:00pm; services immediately to follow.
Walter was not known to enjoy coats and ties and would ask that casual clothing be worn at his funeral service which would include anything related to the Atlanta Braves or Florida State football.
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Our thoughts and prayers are with Marilyn & all of Walter’s family during this sad occassion. We hope memories of happier times with this brave American veteran will remain in your thoughts now & give you comfort.
Our heartfelt condolences to Walter’s family and friends. He will be missed, but not forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Mike and Judy Donaldson
Adios my friend and brother, may you rest in peace until we meet again.
A Hero Veteran and lifelong servant to his brothers. Never to be forgotten.
Walter will certainly be missed. We loved the guy and will never forget this brave veteran. Our prayers go out to Marilyn and family.