He was born on March 13, 1944, in Knott County, Ky., to Charlie and Eveline (Jones) Johnson. He married Darlene Riley on July 2, 1965. She preceded him in death.
Mr. Johnson was employed with Tenneco Automotive for over 20 years, until his retirement in 2009. He loved hunting and taking care of his yard. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He was a member of AARP and the NRA.
He is survived by three daughters: Christina (Edward) Gillespie, Albion, Ind.; Elsie (Roger Bolling) Weldy, Cromwell, Ind.; and Thelma (Tony) Chavez, Goshen, Ind.; five grandchildren: Cheyenne and Adriana Weldy; Anthony, Ethan and Nicholas Chavez; two brothers: Gillis (Clara) Johnson, Topmost, Ky.; and Kenneth (Alice) Johnson, Amboy, Ind.; two sisters: Matreva Sloan, Kite, Ky.; and Sylvia Madden, Vicco, Ky.
He was preceded in death by a son: James Leo Johnson Jr.; his parents; five brothers and a sister.
Friends may call from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Yeager Funeral Home, 1589 Lincolnway South, Ligonier. A funeral service honoring James will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Pastor Gary Allen will officiate. Burial will be in Oak Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be given to Riley Children’s Foundation, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204.