Mark Levan Johnson, Sr. Made his surprise entrance as a preemie to his parents Wilson and Hazel Johnson on Friday, August 10, 1962. His sister Rita was overjoyed by the new addition to their now fabulous family of four.
His mother preceded him in death which affected him deeply. A loss beyond measure, that left Mark truly heartbroken.
Mark confessed his hope in Christ at an early age and was baptized by Reverend James Kelly. He began and ended his Christian journey at his beloved church.
Mark received his formal education beginning with Horatio N. May and Michelle Clark Elementary Schools through June of 1977, and Archbishop Weber High School completing in June 1981. Education was something instilled in him as a youngster. He went on to study two years at North Eastern University in Chicago, Illinois. His aspiration was to become a lab technician.
Working by the sweat of his brow at an early age Mark began his career at Chuck’s Produce, and as a young adult working at Jewel’s. His next career move was Great West pharmacy as a pharmacy apprentice, with his Mom. As a father he got serious and started to toil harder at Precise Products. The pinnacle of his career came when he joined his father and started working at United States Smokeless Tobacco, affectionately known as UST. For 30 years he successfully went up the corporate ladder and became Head of Security and a State Certified First Responder for the plant in Franklin Park, Illinois.
Mark’s stewardship at GSJ spanned almost 60 years. In the vineyards he began singing with the Righteous Four (Mark, George, OD Jr. and Glenn). As a teenager /young adult he sung in the Young Adult Choir, moving on as an adult he joined the Men in Motion and lastly as a part of the Senior Chancel choir. Wanting to share his gift on a larger note, he also sung with the Thompson Community Singers, for a few years in the 1980s.
Growing in GOD, Mark became a member of the Mission Society, in the Young Adult Division at the church, and on January 23, 2000 was crowned Deacon Mark Johnson. As a servant of God, he believed in the upkeep of the church, and beautifying the sanctuary. He took his custodial duties to heart.
Mark was a very sociable young man. Until Sunday, June 12, 1980 when he met a very special young lady, Claudette Jackson, at GSJ. For the next three years their love blossomed, and she became the love of his life. Being obedient to the word of GOD the couple eloped and became one on October 22, 1983. They not only loved each other but liked each other as well. When you saw one you saw the other. They were together so much, Mark got her a job at UST too. They worked together for 16 years, Imagine that!!! They were everything to one another, friends, advisors, confidante, lovers and comforters, ride or die for 40 years.
To this union three healthy sons were born, Mark Levan Jr., Mario Nehemiah, and last but by no means least Micah D’Angelo. He supported his boys in all their endeavors. Whether it was a school function such a school concert, poetry readings, basketball games, school projects or teaching them to drive. He was there. He rejoiced in the fact that he had boys and they followed in his footsteps.
Mark’s family expanded with marriage, he gained a daughter, Regina, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, God brothers and sister.
Mark’s boys were raised in the church to reverence God. To love, respect and care for your family. He encouraged his boys to pursue their education, as far as they wanted or to find honest work. He stated not everybody wanted to be CEO and wear a tie every day, do your best. With God and faith at last his namesake made him proud to be a Granddad. Finally, a girl Sophia Nadine was born September 3, 2011. The first grand baby and the beacon of love shined bright. But the pièce de résistance to assure that the Johnson name lives on, Wilson Alexander was born September 30, 2013. A little Mark with a mischievous smile, came along. His glow turned up a notch. He felt complete. GOD surely has blessed him. You all are his legacy. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrew 11:6).
Mark was a hardworking provider and supporter for his family whatever they needed / wanted. His beliefs and motto was “If his family looked good then he look good”, because we were a reflection of him.
Mark will fondly be remembered for his style of dress, and his love of all of music, but especially gospel and jazz. While driving he would blast his music and it could be heard by everyone. Whether it was John P Kee’s Clap your hands or Wayman Tisdale’s Smooth Jazz, summer breeze.
He was a Diehard sport’s fan of the Chicago Bears and Bulls. He was affectionately known as the sideline coach. He also loved comedy shows, cooking and playing a prank or two at any given time.
Mark was an easy outgoing friendly person, your typical little brother. Life of the party teenager, who knew he was fine. “The Johnson trait he would say”. He was loved by all who knew him.
On Friday Morning, December 18, 2020 at 12:21 am, Mark closed those big brown eyes and took GOD’s hand to eternity.
Mark’s life legacy lives on forever in their hearts: His devoted loving, faithful wife of 37 years Claudette; Children: Mark Jr, Regina, Mario and Micah; Grandchildren Sophia and Wilson; Father Wilson, Sisters: Rita, Yolanda, Deborah, and Kecia; Brothers: Ronald, Cary, Terry, Randy, Derrick, Willie and Tawan; Special cousins Charles and Torrance; Special nieces and nephews: Julia, Aaron, Karen, Lance and Amia; and a host of nieces, great nieces, nephews, great nephews, cousins, lifelong friends, caring neighbors, co-workers and the entire Greater St John family past and present.