March 11, 1953 - November 19, 2020
William Osler Johnson (Billy), was born March 11, 1953 in White Plains, New York, to William and Elsa Johnson. He passed away on November 19, 2020, in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Billy, as he was called, was the second of five children. He is survived by his sisters, Tina, Heidi, and Judy, and preceded in death by his younger brother Doug. Billy was a wonderful, loving father to his three children, Billy, Brooke, and Brian. He was also loved by their mother, Jackie, and his extended family of Joe, Wendy, Blake and Brax Williams.
Billy’s life included hunting, fishing, boating, watersports, and all sports in general. Billy was an all-star athlete in football, baseball and basketball at Cocoa Beach High School in the 1970s and went on to play football at Florida State University. But his greatest pride and joy were his children, who were all-star athletes themselves. The family spent most of their time during their children’s lives on baseball and softball fields. They were certainly gifted his athletic abilities. As a result, his children all continued their education on athletic scholarships at Flagler and the University of Florida (yes, they were Gators, not Seminoles!) Billy always said he could wear a Gator cap if his son played for the team. In fact, Billy also wore a Red Sox cap, as his youngest son Brian went on to pitch in the Majors for Boston. His greatest joy was watching his children succeed…and being there for them when they needed his help. His family meant everything to him.
Billy was always a man’s man—but, he had the biggest heart in the world. He fed the squirrels in his yard every day, and he adored his dogs, Baxter and Baloo. Billy would often feed feral cats he noticed and took care of an outdoor cat in the neighborhood. He would put a heat lamp on his front porch with a soft bed and food for her when it was cold. THAT was Billy.
Billy was a “beer man!” The beverage industry was the livelihood that supported his family and was his passion. There was no better salesman…Billy could sell sand in the desert. His oldest son, Billy, followed him into that industry and he loved to offer his son sage advice—every chance he could. They could talk for hours and hours about beer. His daughter, Brooke, excelled in the medical field and was always there to advise her dad when he needed her — especially regarding his old football injuries. Billy was so proud of his children!
Before retirement, Billy moved into the family home with a magnificent view of the river so he could wake every morning to that view. He would take long walks on the beach and simply enjoy his hometown of Cocoa Beach —where he spent his entire childhood. He never took for granted the sunrises on the beach or the magnificent sunsets on the river. He would sit on his dock by the river behind his home, with a cold beverage and simply soak in the view—always looking for fish, dolphins or manatees! That is where he was at peace–his sanctuary. His family joined him there every chance they could. Weekends and holidays were filled with activity at the family home—boating, jet skiing, swimming, kayaking, paddle-boarding…Billy and his family enjoyed it all.
Billy will enjoy those views from Heaven now and will keep watch over his family. He will be missed, but he will live in the hearts of Jackie, Billy, Brooke and Brian forever. He will be in their thoughts every sunrise and every sunset, for every fish caught, every sporting event, every family moment. Billy was the heart and soul of his family—and that will never be lost or forgotten. He loved and was so loved!