“Another man done gone…” George Meyer Johnson was born in Onawa, Iowa, on May 28, 1945. His family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1954. He graduated from Northeast High School in 1964 and from St. Petersburg Junior College in 1967, in which year he was co-recipient of SPJC’s Carolyn Parker Award for Creative Writing. He was a regular guitarist at the Beaux Arts Coffeehouse during 1964-1967 and served as its manager for a time. In Sept. 1967, he moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to attend Florida State University, where he majored in philosophy. He resided in Tallahassee thereafter.
George’s interests comprised four main areas: music, motorcycles, computers, and animals. He played lead guitar with many bands as well as being occasional backup guitarist for Rita Coolidge while she attended FSU. He owned and operated a stringed instrument sales and repair shop, Guitar Enterprise, Ltd., on North Monroe Street, Tallahassee. His clients included B. B. King, John Lee Hooker, Dickie Betts, Duane Allman, and Joan Jett. His shop was a hub of lunch-hour discussion groups. His passion for riding and repairing motorcycles led to his building a racing bike that was successful in the southeastern track circuit. He became expert in computer systems configuration. He was renowned for rescuing and adopting numerous cats and dogs.
He died of a heart attack at his home on Nov. 16, 2008. He was preceded in death by his parents, the Rev. Earl G. Johnson of St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral and Ruth M. Johnson of St. Anthony’s Hospital (St. Petersburg). He is survived by his daughter, Caitlin H. Johnson, and her mother, Llyn C. French, both of St. Petersburg; and by his former long-time companion, Linnie J. Osborn of Tallahassee. They request that contributions in remembrance be made to the Leon County Humane Society, 413 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312.
– Llyn French