December 29, 1940 ~ February 24, 2022

Born in: Beaumont, Texas
Resided in: Carson, California

Harvey Carroll Johnson loved to run and sought to spread his passion for his pastime with anyone who would listen.

Whether it was the hilly trails of Griffith Park, the slopes of Signal Hill, the streets of Carson or the bleachers at Compton College, Harvey just loved the thump of his running shoes on any surface and the exhilaration he felt from the sun on his back and the steady rhythm of his stride. He ran competitively for the Corona Del Mar Track Club in a master’s league for those over 35 and once completed the Long Beach Marathon.

Even when the aches of age, heart issues and Parkinson’s kept him from running later in life, he would wistfully smile when his thoughts went back to times of before and say how much he missed it.

Harvey ran the race of his life for 81 years, crossing the finish line on Feb. 24, 2022. He died of heart failure, his dedicated wife of 34 years, Linda, and daughter, Melanie, by his side.

The youngest of six children born to the Rev. Herman R. Johnson and Viola Mitchell Johnson, Harvey began his race on Dec. 29, 1940, in Beaumont, Texas. He was raised with a deep and abiding love of family and pride in his roots. The Mitchell, Mott, House and Johnson families settled in the country areas outside Madisonville, Texas, known as High Prairie and Greenbriar, post slavery. The Mitchell, Mott and House family members have hosted an annual “homecoming” every year since 1955, and Harvey regularly attended.

The adorable baby boy grew up to be mischievous, though still cute as he could be. He loved to tease, especially the two sisters closest to him in age – Bennie Rose and Mable – once jumping on the bike the three of them received for Christmas to share and riding off laughing as they gave chase. He loved his annual summer visits to High Prairie as a boy, riding horses, eating freshly grown vegetables from his aunt’s garden and playing with his cousins.

Harvey adored his sisters and deeply admired his brother. He valued his friends. He often said that you only need a few solid friends you can count on, and he had that in longtime friends like Willie Samuel, who was the “Sambolians” to his “Tank”, Maecheal Smith, Gerry DeJean and Gerry Mason.

He was a proud graduate of Charlton Pollard High School’s class of 1958. In 1959, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving four years. After he got out of the service, he settled in Los Angeles, California, joining his five siblings who had already relocated.

In 1968, he married his first wife, Virginia, and to their union was born a daughter, Melanie. Harvey also raised two stepsons, Ivan and Fred. When his beloved sister Bennie died in 1980, he and Virginia gained custody of his then 11-year-old nephew Barry, whom he considered a son and affectionately called “Knuckle.” He was a loving Dad.

Growing up, the Johnsons often had relatives stay with them for a time. The door was open to family. Harvey was the same, inviting nephews, nieces and brothers-in-law to stay a while. He loved camping trips, going to the movies and playing cards. Harvey learned to cook from his sister Earnestine, and he was the master of the grill and the gumbo pot. He and his brother, Raymond, would often tease each other about whose ribs tasted better. That was a tie.

Harvey loved to sing and fancied himself a bit of crooner in the vein of a Johnny Mathis. It was the soundtrack of his teen years when he met his high school sweetheart, Linda Nisby. The two would later reconnect and married in 1987. They were deeply devoted to each other, so much so, that there weren’t too many places Harvey would go without his “sweet little wife.” He even had her running bleachers, too, at one point.

Harvey would say he took college classes everywhere as a young man, including USC, LA City College and Pepperdine. He later went on earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1977. He had a career in sales. Gillette, Lehn and Fink and Little Darlings Photography were among the companies he worked for.

He had a distinctive laugh that could get high in pitch if something was hilariously funny. If you were really looking sharp or good at something, he would often say “Easy!” or call you a “bad egg.” He loved to dance, often reminiscing of the days he used to do the mashed potato, shing-a-ling and Philly dog at Maverick’s Flat as a young man. He loved sports and music, especially the Lakers and jazz. He enjoyed sweets, often telling the story about how he would spend the nickel he got for school lunch at the donut shop in morning and would be “sitting around with his hands in his pockets” watching his classmates eat come lunch time.

Harvey enjoyed his life. He gave love and was loved. He ran his race, and he ran it well, finishing it with arms raised and the wind at his back.

He was preceded in death by his father, the Rev. Herman R. Johnson; his mother Viola Mitchell Johnson Wilson; his brother Raymond Johnson; and his sisters Earnestine Munson, Grace Appling and Bennie Rose Almaraz.

Harvey is survived by his wife Linda, his daughter Melanie, his stepsons Ivan and Fred Taylor (Sharon), his sister Mable Thompson, his nephews Raymond “Pine” Johnson (Carmen), Don “Mickey” Garrison (Shirley) David and Lawrence Munson, Barry Simpson, Stephen Douglas (Sandra), Cameron Caziere, Derek Caziere, Ugene “Geno” Dozier (Lisa), Fred Nisby; his nieces Carol Appling and Beverly Hall (Jim), his step mother-in-law Dora Nisby, his brother-in-law Ronald Nisby (Brenda), his half-brother-in-law Reginald Nisby, his sister-in-law Cheryl Caziere, and a host of step grandchildren, cousins, great nieces and nephews, great great nieces and nephews, and friends.


Viewing: March 16, 2022 4:00 pm - March 16, 2022 6:00 pm

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - McMillan Center
1016 W. 164th Street
Gardena, CA 90247


Viewing: March 17, 2022 12:00 pm

Central Baptist Church
3120 W. 108th Street
Inglewood, CA 90303

Service: March 17, 2022 1:00 pm

Central Baptist Church
3120 W. 108th Street
Inglewood, CA 90303

Graveside Service: March 30, 2022 10:30 am

Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren
Riverside, CA 92508


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  1. With Deepest sympathy to All family, praying for all!!! We Love you Lind! Your neighbor.
    Pat and Charles Henderson!

  2. candle 7Melanie,
    such a beautiful video tribute.
    my prayers are with my family in this time of bereavement. Harvey was everyone’s favorite and such a sweet man. Rest in heavenly peace cousin.Until we meet again
    Hugs to my Cali family!! your cousin April Elaine

  3. Mr. Harvey, you will always be special to me. You treated me like a daughter all my life and for that I am grateful. You welcomed me with open arms into your home. I will always remember your famous gumbo with okra! 🙌🏽💓👑 . Rest well Mr. Harvey!! Love, Stacey! 🙏🏽💓😇

  4. candle 7This was such a beautiful and fitting tribute to my loving big cousin, Harvey. I will miss your gentle presence and loving encouragement. You’ve joined the many family members including my mom and your first cousin, Val. I know she’s so happy to have you there. To Linda, Melanie, Barry and Mable may you find comfort in his memories and strength in Harvey’s faith. I am praying for and with you all.💚 -Cousin Stephanie Alfred, Houston Texas

  5. I am writing this to let the reader know how much I loved my husband. Harvey was my sweet Husband – I called him “Baby Waby” …He will be my valentine forever……… My love for Harvey spanned 64 years, beginning my sophomore year at Charlton-Pollard High School at the age of 15, and he was my first boyfriend. We lived and went to same high school in Beaumont, Texas1957. Harvey was a senior. I thanked God for him every day of our marriage, and I am still grateful that Harvey and I shared nearly 35 years together as husband and wife. I will always love him. Now he is with Jesus, which makes my heart glad and at peace. We will see each other again. Thank you, my dear sweet Melanie for the photos you selected. I am well pleased, as other family members and friends will be too. much love to you, Linda

  6. I remember cousin Harvey at the family reunions. A gentleman. Kind,pleasant. Just a nice person. I enjoyed listening to him talk. A role model to emulate. I always felt listened to.

  7. candle 3Auntie Mel,

    This is a wonderful tribute to your father. May he Rest In Peace. May the Lord watch and guide you through.

    Love you always

  8. candle 1Dad,

    No amount of time could prepare me for the day you weren’t on this earth anymore, but I know we all have a time. I couldn’t have been prouder to have you as my Dad. Everyone I encountered heard about Harvey Johnson, the best dad in the world! I will come together with family and friends, and we will share stories about you and laugh. We will lean on one another. Looking forward to the time when thoughts of you bring me more laughter than tears. Love you to infinity,

    You’re sweet, little daughter,


  9. candle 1Sweet Dad,

    I was so fortunate to have you as a father. You gave me unconditional love, affection and quality time. There is not much more a daughter could ask for. I knew I could always count on you. You never disappointed me. The bond we shared was truly special. Everyone I know, even those who haven’t met you, know who you are and how much I loved you. I will continue to share, and you will never be forgotten. Love you to infinity,

    Your favorite daughter,


    I have many sweet memories of my Beloved Son-in-Law that I shall always cherish.
    What a blessing to have shared such a beautiful life.
    “Rest in Peace” for the LOVE shall forever linger!
    “I am the resurrection. and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
    John 11:25.
    With Love and Sweet Memories, Dora Nisby, Mother-in-Law


  11. My heart is saddened by your loss, Melanie. May God keep you strong.
    His obituary is a wonderful tribute to the life he lived. It brought back memories of him as I remember him. Thanks

  12. candle 7Dear Melanie, Linda and Mr Johnson’s whole family,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Please know you’re in our prayers. May he Rest In Peace.
    Jason, Andrea, Kat & Dominic

  13. candle 8Nothing in this world can ever prepare us for the ugly side of life, but Lord knows Poppa Johnson lived a truly beautiful one. He never met a stranger and ALWAYS made everyone feel appreciated, loved and right at home. The extraordinary bound the Johnson family shares is cut from no ordinary cloth and I am so honored to have been graced with this lifelong friendship that I can call my other family. I will forever be grateful for my biggest cheerleaders Mr. J and of course my BFF Mel (we say: our sister from another mother) gave me as a track and field athlete for nearly a decade and for all of Mr. J’s encouraging words of wisdom throughout my highschool/college years. For now, we must say farewell to a great husband, dad, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. At this very moment, Heaven is receiving a new angel with a special kind of swagger. Mr J won’t be donning your ordinary angel wings on his back, but rather the “Midas” kind that will be on his feet.

    We love you Mel and Mrs Johnson and are heartbroken. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

    All Our Love,
    Will, Saam, Ernie and Hall



  15. candle 4To my friend, my sister Melanie and the Johnson family. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Don’t think of him as gone away his journey’s just begun,
    life holds so many facets
    this earth is only one.
    Just think of him as resting
    from the sorrows and the tears
    in a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.
    Think how he must be wishing
    that we could know today
    how nothing but our sadness
    can really pass away.
    And think of him as living
    in the hearts of those he touched for nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much.

  16. I’m grateful to the Lord for the joy, love, and wonderful heart-felt memories that came from knowing Harvey. I’m more grateful to the Lord that Harvey brought such happiness and joy to my dear sister Linda. I was able to share many moments of her joy and laughter while he lived and now I will do my best to bare and share her moments of grief and sadness that she will feel and may now be feeling as she read these words.
    As a brother, friend, confident and lover of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say as the Lord would say….”My Peace I give unto thee. It’s a Peace that the world cannot give. It’s a Peace that the world cannot understand, Peace to know, Peace to live, My Peace I give unto you. My Love I give unto you It’s a Love that the world cannot give. It’ a Love that the world cannot understand, Love to know, Love to live, My Love I give unto you. My Joy I give unto you. It’s a Joy that the world cannot give. It’s a Joy that the world cannot understand. Joy to know, joy to live, My Joy I give unto you”.
    As a Minister in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, I’ll quote a passage from God’s Prophet, William M Branham “.. taken from the sermon he preached in 1955 entitled “The Result of Decision”

    (…We do not want to be mistaken. Satan has a power. And that power is death. And he can…he has a—a power of death. Satan is the one who takes your life when God will let him do it. But God can hold your life, and Satan cannot take it until God lets him do it. He can only use that power as God will let him use it. Isn’t that wonderful? Death…You know, someone said one time, “What is death?”
    He said, “God harnessed death up to a buggy, and the only thing death can do is pull the believer in the Presence of his Maker.” So it ain’t a bad thing after all, is it?

    So as you know yourself Linda, it’s an absolute fact that we’ll see Harvey again….on the other side. Many times I’m reminded of the words of Brother Branham when he would give examples of life here on earth vs life in Heaven as well as life in these mortal bodies vs life waiting for us in Celestial bodies. Sometimes he would refer to life here on earth as living in PESTHOUSES (out bodies) that’s subjected to diseases, sickness, pain, sin, misery, suffering and heartaches. Who would want to continue to live in such conditions when a LIFE OF BLISS awaits them where they’ll never die, never have sickness, pain, heartaches nor any of these symptoms that exist in this life.
    Linda, I’m sure Harvey is hoping that you’ll now put all your time and effort in living the rest of your life in peace and joy knowing that he is in a much better place, so lovingly let go and let God have His wonderful way in the days ahead. Take care of yourself, your home, your loved ones and let Him direct your steps ahead.
    We’re always a phone ring away, but closer in your heart.

    • candle 8Ronald, thank you, my dear brother. I certainly wouldn’t wantmy sweet husband to have to return to a decaying body. He didn’t like it before he left, and I believe he would not want to return to it again. I willingly released him to leave. Both Melanie and I gave him the OK to leave in the emergency room. We told him we would be alright. About 5 minutes later he left. I am at peace. I thank the Lord Jesus that I will see him again in our celestial bodies. The Lord has given me His peace and comfort. He keeps His promises. Harvey is safe in the hands of Jesus.
      Ronald, thank you for your love and prayer support, both you and Brenda. I love the fact that you love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Harvey loved you, and I love you dearly, Linda.

  17. candle 1Dear Melanie and all the family of Harvey,
    I send my sincere condolences for the passing of such a wonderful father, husband, brother, uncle, grandparent. I did not find out until late about his passing. May God bless him with many rewards for adding goodness to the early world while he was here. May all of you feel blessed that he was an important part of your life and left you with such sweet memories.

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