Jesse William Johnson Jr. was such a dependable worker, it didn't matter if the snow was blowing or what the weather conditions, he could be counted on to show up for work.
After 41 years with the Federal Reserve Bank, he spent 10 years with the Julian V. Hawkins Funeral Home in West Philadelphia, working with Chris Hawkins, the supervisor, whom he regarded as a second father.
"He was a very good, dependable worker," Chris Hawkins said. "It didn't matter if the snow was deep, he would come to work. He was a well-respected, friendly man who got along with everybody."
Jesse Johnson, known to one and all as "Sarge," a decorated Army veteran of World War II, a Mason and devoted family man, died Sunday. He was 84 and lived in Southwest Philadelphia.
"He was a great guy," said his wife, the former Shirley Williams. "He was fun-loving and always had a smile. He had a deep love for people."
Jesse was born in Philadelphia to Samuel and Ernie Johnson. His education in the public schools was interrupted by World War II.
He entered the Army on March 29, 1943, and fought in the European Theater. He was awarded a Bronze Star for valor and other decorations. He was discharged in December 1945.
He worked in the cash department at the Federal Reserve Bank, retiring in 1988.
"Jesse was a man who always had a lot to say," his wife said.
"He could talk for hours about life in general."
He enjoyed traveling and he and his wife, whom he called "Poopsie," would spend three weeks in Las Vegas every year.
His favorite casino game was Keno.
He had been a member of the old Penn Memorial Baptist Church on Belmont Avenue.
Jesse was an Eagles fan, but when they were doing poorly, he called them the "Pigeons."
He also liked to watch the Phillies and old Western movies.
He also is survived by four daughters, Vickie Williams-Dougherty, Deborah Williams, Cheryl Jackson and Jacqueline Williams; a son, Rickie Williams; a sister, Henrietta Owens; two brothers, Elton and Henry Johnson; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Services: 10 a.m. Saturday at Millenium Baptist Church, 1630 N. 52nd St.