J. Wesley Johnson, M.D. passed away peacefully at his home November 12, 2021. He was born Oct. 3, 1933 in Williamsburg, Kentucky to the late Judge J.B. Johnson, Sr. and Edna Perkins Johnson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sister Julia Blondell (David) and a brother Judge J.B. Johnson, Jr. (Becky), and a son-in-law Donald Dean Kelly (Sherri).
He is survived by his wife Phyllis Neace Johnson, his children Sherri Johnson Kelly of Peoria, Arizona, Bryan Johnson of Lexington, J. Wesley Johnson, II, DVM (Lori) of New Market, Tennessee and Elaine Corbitt (Steve) of Ashland and his grandchildren Madeline Johnson of Auburn, Alabama, Kacie Kelly Kozman (Sam) of Peoria, Arizona, Stephen Corbitt, II (Lynn) of Hamilton, Ohio, Alexandra Johnson of Lexington, Kentucky, Lily Johnson of Denver, Colorado, Grace Johnson of Dandridge, Tennessee and a great grandson, Shiloh Kozman, Peoria, Arizona.
Dr. Johnson graduated from Williamsburg High School IN 1951, the University of the Kentucky in 1956 and the University of Louisville College of Medicine in 1960. He completed his internship in General Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. He joined the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict and completed his residency as a Captain at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. He was the first surgeon in Ashland board certified by the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Johnson and his family moved to Ashland in 1967 where he began his general surgery practice. During his 34-year tenure he held many offices and earned many distinctions, including Chief of Surgery through most of his career. After retiring from private practice, Dr. Johnson, later returned to the Department of Surgery at the request of KDMC, to improve OR throughput and operational efficiencies. His respected leadership and experience plus the esteem of his fellow surgeons made him a natural for these duties.
Dr. Johnson had an intense commitment to his patients. He was known for his compassion and house calls anytime day or night. He had a great appreciation of the gifts and talents of his fellow physicians, nurses, and support staff. He valued work ethic and taught others the importance of their work.
Dr. Johnson was an active member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) serving as an Elder, Board Chairman, and elementary school and church league basketball coach.
He was dedicated supporter of the University of Kentucky and its athletic programs
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m. at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 1930 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, with Rev. Stephen T. Smythers officiating. Burial will follow in Ashland Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Friday at First Christian Church. Masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dr. Johnson’s memory should be directed to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 1930 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101 or King’s Daughters Health Foundation Breast Cancer Services Fund, Attention Laura Kelley, 2201 Lexington Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101, or http://www.kdhealthfoundation.com.
To share a remembrance of Dr. Johnson or to express a condolence to his family, please visit: steenfuneralhome.com.
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First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
1930 Winchester Ave., Ashland KY 41101
King's Daughters Health Foundation Breast Cancer Fund
2201 Lexington Avenue, Ashland KY 41101