Gerald (Jerry) E. Johnson, 75
FAIRHAVEN-Gerald E. Johnson (Jerry) passed away peacefully at home on December 17, 2022. He was 75.
Jerry was an exceptional father. His devotion to his girls brought him to every dance and musical performance, sports game, track meet and graduation. But beyond that, he bestowed upon them and his grandchildren unconditional love always and demonstrated for them how to live a life of integrity, one filled with intellectual curiosity and a commitment to serving others. Jerry possessed a steadfast heart and his superpower was making people feel loved and cherished.
Jerry loved exploring the world with his family, playing ball and reading to the grandchildren, skiing, sailing and dogs. He loved food, especially pastries—witness the raspberry bear claw from the Shipyard Galley—seafood and coffee ice cream.
He had an incredible mind. As a “walking encyclopedia of useless facts,” he had an uncanny ability to recall not only dates significant to him but obscure statistics relating to all sports from baseball to tennis—local, national and international.
Jerry was a lover of the English language. He could quote Shakespeare and lines from movies with equal agility. At least 25 percent of our family’s repartee came from Jerry’s favorite movies, among them Blazing Saddles, Multiplicity, Sleepless in Seattle and Running Scared. His terrible puns and awesome wordplay led to laughter and occasional groans from his family.
Jerry possessed the highest ethical standards and the strongest sense of integrity in work, as in life. He was a proud graduate of Brown University (1969) and Western New England College School of Law (1976). Admitted to the RI Bar (1977) and MA Bar (1978), he opened the Law Offices of Gerald E Johnson in Swansea in 1978 where he practiced until 2018. Jerry often said, “I love the law!”
He served the Town of Swansea as assistant to the Town Counsel from 1985 to 1988, Co-Counsel from 1989 to 1991 and Counsel from 1992 to 1998. According to his associate, Christopher Carreiro, “After all, Jerry is known in these parts as our Town Attorney.”
In addition to his legal practice, Jerry was an adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix and Bristol Community College. Jerry served the Town of Mattapoisett, where he lived for 25 years, as a member and chairman of the Mattapoisett School Committee for 15 years. He was an active member of the Mattapoisett Land Trust.
Jerry was devoted to the democratic process. He used to tell us that he was always in a great mood on election day, saying “Today, I got the power!”
He was an athlete. He ran track in high school and college. He completed two Pan Mass Challenges, benefitting Dana Farber Cancer Institute, three Buzzards Bay Watershed bicycle rides and multiple Tours de Crème.
Jerry was predeceased by his parents James and Helen Johnson, brother Jim Johnson, and wife Ginny Johnson. He is survived by his wife, Cindy Johnson of Fairhaven; daughter, Anne Landry and her husband Ryan of Reading; daughter, Emily Johnson and her partner John Concado of New York City; and grandchildren, Michael and Charlie Landry. Jerry is also survived by dearly beloved brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.
A memorial service for Jerry will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 1 pm at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church. A reception will follow. Arrangements are by the Fairhaven Funeral Home, 117 Main St., Fairhaven. For memorial register please visit, www.hathawayfunerals.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Mattapoisett Land Trust or the Buzzards Bay Coalition in Jerry’s memory.