The funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 P.M., Sunday, September 3, 2023, at the Josh Gibson Center, 20 Gibson Way, Buena Vista, Georgia. Burial will follow at the Liberty Cemetery, Pineville Road, Buena Vista, Georgia.
Graveside services, including burials, are likely to be held on ground that is uneven, which is out of the control of Oglethorpe Funeral Chapel, Inc. We ask that you take this into consideration when choosing footwear, such as shoes with high, thin heels. Please be advised that Oglethorpe Funeral Chapel, Inc. will not be held responsible for injuries at a grave site because of this.
Johnnie Lee Taylor was born January 1, 1928, to the late Lee Brown and the late Willie B. Taylor in Buena Vista, Georgia. He was educated in the public schools of Marion County, Buena Vista, Georgia. He was a lifelong member of the community, where he was affectionately known as “Shang” Taylor. In the local community and beyond, he was known for his war stories, jokes, and gospel singing.
He was a founding member of the Sons of Allen at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, where he had also held the positions of Class Leader, Steward, and Trustee. At that time, he said that he was one of the “youngest” members of the church at the age of “19” (91).
Johnnie’s career has included joining the United States Army at an early age. At that time, the army was segregated. He was a part of the 30th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion during the Korean War and the Occupation (of Japan), Hakata Air Base, Kyushu, Japan. He was very proud of being a veteran with an honorable discharge.
After the Army, he was employed as a construction worker for many years. He enthusiastically points out his work on many bridges in the Columbus, Georgia area. He retired as a truck driver at Fort Benning, Georgia. He truly loved this job, because of the many people he met and told his stories and jokes.
After retiring, he made daily visits to the Magnolia Manor Nursing Home to visit the residents there. This daily act of kindness earned him the title of Missionary at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church.
Johnnie loved church and often attended revivals and other services where he is often heard singing his favorite song, “Lord I Thank You for My Journey”. The family refers to the song as his “theme song”.
He was united in holy matrimony to the late Mayola Ivory Taylor on October 27,1951. To this union they raised ten children together. He is preceded in death by one son, Johnnie Lee Taylor, Jr.; four brothers, Roy Brown, Lee Brown, Jr., Johnny Brown; and one sister, Ruby Williams, and daughter-in-law, Sylvia Taylor.
He leaves a lifetime of cherished memories to his nine children Mary A. King, Buena Vista, Georgia, Bernice Harris (Andrew), Cusseta, Georgia, Robert Taylor (Marcia), Alexandria, Virginia, Georgia A. Taylor, Buena Vista, Georgia, Geraldine Thomas, Buena Vista, Georgia, James Taylor, Buena Vista, Georgia, Gwendolyn King (Johnny), Kathleen, Georgia, Freddie Taylor, Warner Robins, Georgia, and Millicent Perry (Darryl), Columbus, Georgia; daughter-in-law Minerva Taylor, Forsyth, Georgia; 19 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren; siblings, Ellie Christine Brown, Calumet City, Illinois, Nellie Jones, Columbus, Georgia, Bertha Brown, Fayetteville, Georgia, Rushia Corley, Cleveland, Ohio, Arthur Brown, Albany, Georgia, Charlie Brown, Parrott, Georgia, Marjette Gaines, Columbus, Georgia, brother-in-law, Major Ivory (Rebecca) Oglethorpe, Georgia; sister-in-law, Geraldine Ivory, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; a host of beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.