A SERVICE MEMORIALIZING THE LIFE OF
Ellis Marvin Dave Johnson
Saturday, FeWi, 202oB|
GILBERT LAMBUTH MEMORIAL CPEL
1200 Druid Park Avenue
Augusta, GA W
Dr. George C Miller III, Officiating
Pastor, Elim Baptist Church | Augusta, Gi
Dr. George C. Miller III, Officiating and Eulogist
Pre-service music Medley of Inspirational Hymns
*Processional For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest" Ralph V. Williams
Mr. Jim Nord, Organist
*Hymn "0 Love That Will Not Let Me Go" Congregation
(Led by The Augusta Chorale)
1.0 love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.
2. O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
my heart restores its borrowed ray,
that in thy sunshines blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be.
3.0 joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
1 trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be.
4. O cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust lifes glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be.
Old Testament | Psalm 121
New Testament | John 14:1-3
Reverend. Ricky Dent
Reverend Kenneth Griffin
Dr. Luther Felder, Chaplain
Dr. Charles R. Lamback, Friend
Dr. Harvey Fields, Former Student
Dr. Nathaniel Irvin II, Nephew
Dr. Audrey J. Wood
"It Is Well With My Soul" The Augusta Chorale
Mr. Isaac Washington Holmes, Soloist
Dr. George C. Miller III, Pastor
Elim Baptist Church
*Hymn "How Great Thou Art Congregation
(Led by Ms. Laquita Mitchell)
1. O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Chorus: Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
2. And when I think of God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in.
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin.
3. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God how great Thou art.
The Committal Dr. Miller
Music The Lord Bless You and Keep You John Rutter
The Augusta Chorale
*The Closing Prayer Dr. Miller
*The Recessional "Now Thank We All Our God Martin Rinckart
The family will receive friends following the service in the Ellis M and Ann N
Johnson Performing Arts Studio in the rear of the Chapel.
There will be no repast.
Ellis Marvin Dave Johnson transitioned peacefully on Jan 15th' 2020 joining his loving
wife of 49 years, Ann Nealous Johnson. Ellis was bom on June 8, 1938 in Lincolnton,
Georgia to the late Dave and Georgia M. Bentley Johnson. He leaves to treasure his
remembrance; sisters Mrs. Annie R. Latson, Mrs. Eugenia J. Irvin and Mrs. Elizabeth
Hand; brothers Floyd Johnson and Luther (Eleanor) Johnson; and, sister-in-law, Gladys
(Dr. Robert) Sanders, Sanford, NC; adopted children Leon (Angela) Brantley, Ms.
Georgia Jackson, Dr. Donna and (Elmer) Pickett, Mrs. Wanda (Dr. Keith) McRae, Ms.
Ambrosia Mason, Jason and Janua Wisdom and their children, and Mrs. Amanda
(Emory) Williams; god children Ms. Robin Turman, Ms. Marissa Appling, Brian Wynn,
Jarvis Henley, Gerald Jordan, Kyle Horton, Ms. Portia Brooks, Jermaine Lawrence, Trey
McLaughlin; many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and many cherished friends.
Ellis legacy is illuminated through the massive footprint left in his wake from the vast
contributions and sacrifices made throughout his distinguished career. He was a
preeminent servant leader with unwavering respect and duty to God, family, community,
country and fellowman. Additionally, Ellis was a man of immense faith, integrity, dignity
and honor who became a fervent trailblazer in many aspects of his life. He maintained an
all-encompassing spirit of empathy, compassion and humility along with an untiring
desire to uplift and minister to the needy and under-represented. His mantra was, I
would rather give a hand up but willingly, if necessary, a hand out. His influence,
mentoring and charity are evidenced throughout society by the many that he uplifted.
Ellis graduated from Lucy Laney High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree
in Mathematics with a minor in Music at Paine College; augmenting his skills through
further study at Savannah State and Montclair State colleges; and Hampton and Seton
Hall universities. Furthering his educational credentials, he received the Master of
Science degree in Guidance and Counseling at the Fort Valley State University; attended
the Counseling Institute at Harvard University and was awarded the Certification in
Educational Administration from Augusta State University.
Ellis work history was extensive with endeavors across a continuum difficult to rival.
However, at its core, whether vocation or avocation was his profound passion for music
and the arts that he shared with his wife, Ann. Intermingled or adjacent, music was an
overarching theme that permeated and resonated through his work and brought him
utmost joy. His exceptional talent and musical prowess as a vocalist, pianist, choral
director and teacher earned him the honorific, maestro.
Among positions held were in the areas of mathematics, music, psychometry and
Ellis served as Chief GED Examiner at Augusta Technical College, and Director of
Counseling Services at Aiken Technical College, which encompassed supervising the
Americans with Disabilities Act program as well as recruitment, testing, placement, and
administration of the South Carolina Education Entrance Examination. Also, at ATC
Ellis served as Interim Vice President for Student Services overseeing Guidance and
Counseling, Psychometrics, Clinical Consultancy and Test Analysis. Concurrent with the
above assignments, he managed to coordinate the Special Programs Curriculum at Paine
Ellis began his career in the Richmond County School System at Sand Bar Ferry Junior
High School teaching mathematics, music and chorus. He later joined the faculty of the
Richmond Academy where he continued to teach all levels of mathematics, as well as
advise the Student Council. Promoted to Director of Guidance at Richmond Academy
following six years of teaching at ARC, Ellis served as Counselor for 14 years. It was
here that he pioneered the schools transition from the semester system to the quarter
Prior to entering the academic arena, Ellis served his country in the United States Army
as Director of the Chapel Choir and Administrative Assistant to the Post Chaplain.
The honors and awards attributed to Ellis, and likewise to Ellis and Ann, represent
merited gratitude and confirmation for servant-led lives of selflessness, sacrifice and
giving. They were driven by benevolence and charity as well as Christian and civic
obligation. Even when sickness and infirmity presented challenges, Ellis persevered,
continuing to feed his regular coterie of homeless, aged, sick and homebound. These
endeavors are especially evidenced by life-long philanthropy to Paine College giving
generously himself, while also inspiring others to do the same.
Among his extensive list of honors and awards are: the George and Dorothy Walton
Volunteer Couple of the Year; The Ellis and Ann Johnson Art Gallery commissioned by
the Jessye Norman School of the Arts and named for the couple; Past President of the
Board of Directors for the Jessye Norman School of the Arts where he served many years
as annual co-chair of the Benefit Concert Committee. He was a member and officer for
many years of Alpha Mu Boule of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and He conducted annual
workshops on proper attire and dining etiquette for junior leaders of Augusta as well as
middle school boys.
Honored with a luncheon at the Lucy Laney Museum of Black History featuring an Art
Exhibit of the Johnsons collection; Greater Augusta Arts Council Presidents Award for
Community Service to the Arts; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. Regional Award for
the Arts, the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. Distinguished Service in the Arts Award
Mozart to Motown Pioneer Award; Greater Augusta Arts Council Volunteer of the Year;
Greater Augusta Arts Council, past president; Augusta Opera Association and Augustas
Opera Man of the year; Presidential Alumni Achievement Award, Paine College;
Member of the Year, Elim Baptist Church; Numerous Whos Who recognitions for
outstanding and distinguished service while at the Richmond Academy and Sand Bar
Ferry Jr. High School; and. a two-year distinguished fellow National Science Foundation
Award to study Mathematics.
Selecting from numerous community and civic affiliations are some of Ellis highlights:
Annual Judge. The Augusta Chronicle Best and Brightest Scholarship Award (17 years);
Former Morris Museum Music Advisory Committee; Member of the Augusta Museum of
History Advisory Committee; Inaugural Westobou Festival Steering Committee and
Coordinator of the Westobou Choral Artists Series; member and soloist of the Augusta
Choral Society, Inc. (18 years); Past President, Augusta Choral Society; Music Director
Emeritus of the Augusta Chorale, Inc. (20 years); Co-coordinated with Gloria
Greenbaum efforts to name the Augusta Amphitheater, The Jessye Norman
Amphitheater. Richmond County Alternative Education Advisory Council; Life-long
member of Elim Baptist Church; Deacon Emeritus, Trustee, Minister of Music, Sunday
school teacher and Coordinator of Senior Activities; and, former Board Member of
Summerville Neighborhood Association.
Present and former membership in professional and social organizations include: Alpha
Mu Boule of Sigma Pi Fraternity; 100 Black Men of Augusta, Inc.; the American Choral
Directors Association, the NAACP; the Metropolitan Opera Guild; Augusta Museum of
History; Morris Museum of Southern Art; and, the Friends of Lucy Laney Museum of
And now, as the crescendo of encores fade, we lower the curtain on a remarkable,
memorable and purposeful life BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! Ellis!
Lucy C. Laney High School Class of 1957
Alpha Mu Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
Jessye Norman School of the Arts Board of Directors
Deacons Ministry of Elim Baptist Church
The Music Ministry of Metropolitan Baptist Church
The Augusta Chorale
Dr. Jerry Hardee, Mr. Peter Knox
Thank You Community
Throughout the life of Ellis Marvin Dave Johnson, the Augusta
Community and beyond have shown tremendous love and support in
his various endeavors. Dr. John Hudson and Dr. Miriam Atkins provided
the optimum in medical care throughout his numerous years with
cancer. Sister Annie Ruth Latson, Nieces, Rev. Elaine Pate and Mrs.
Tracie Gallop, Nephew Dr. Thomas L. Irvin, Crystal Akers, Daisy Burnett
and the Alliance Hospital Staff, Lucy Marion and Phil Blumfield, were
awesome caretakers. And now as he has transitioned, so much
kindness, support and love have been demonstrated in so many ways to
his family. We, the entire family, cheerfully thank you.
To further advance the life and legacy of Ellis, we encourage you to
make memorial contributions to the following:
Paine College, 1235 Fifteenth St. Augusta, GA 30901
Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Greene St., Augusta, GA 30901
Project BBUILD, Alpha Mu Boule (mentoring program], P.O. Box
31376, Augusta, GA 30903
Elim Baptist Church Transportation Fund, 2359 Mt. Auburn St.,
Augusta, GA 30904
W. H. Mays Mortuary
"Professional Service A Family Tradition Since 1922"
1221 James Brown Boulevard
Augusta, Georgia 30901