Elmer
Johnson Jr.


 

ELMER C. JOHNSON JR. was born in New Jersey on August 21, 1924 to Elmer and Helen Johnson. His father, a veteran of World War I, worked as a carpenter. The family lived at 566 Walnut Street when the census was taken in April of 1930. Elmer's parents had married prior to his father's entrance into the United States Army in 1918. Upon his return they rented lodgings at 1015 Kaighn Avenue in January of 1920, before their move to Walnut Street. By 1947 the Johnson family had moved to 548 York Street in North Camden. Elmer Johnson Sr. by then had a wharf building business based in Philadelphia. He passed in January of 1952 and was buried at Beverly National Cemetery, Mrs. Johnson joining him in 1964.

Elmer Johnson Jr. served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, reaching the rank of Corporal before his term of service ended. He returned to Camden and in February of 1951 was appointed to the Camden Fire Department. 

On Tuesday morning, December 16, 1952, Second District units of East Camden were dispatched to a dwelling fire. Shortly thereafter, another alarm was received for the Grace Baptist Church at 27th and Cramer Streets, just ore block from the quarters of Engine 9 and Ladder 3, which was vacated by the previous alarm. First District units from center city and North Camden, normally assigned on the second alarm, were now responding first due to the church. Off duty Fire Dispatcher Rex Hurlock, who resided a few doors down from the church, saw the heavy smoke and was able to rescue an infirm 76 year-old woman from an adjoining building. First arriving units transmitted the second alarm, and Chief William Van Pfefferle shortly there after, a third alarm. South Camden units from the 3rd District responded on the second alarm, while the origins units from East Camden that were becoming available from the dwelling fire responded on the third. The blaze originated in the basement and extends upward through interior walls, venting out the roof. In the early stages of the fire, an inside odor of illuminating gas was detected and companies were withdrawn from the interior as the gas company was summoned to shut off the gas service at the street. At the height of the blaze, huge pieces of razor sharp roof slate rained down, endangering firemen. The fire destroyed most of the building including a six thousand dollar pipe organ. Estimated damage was $75,000. The church had over 600 members. The original church erected in 1890, was destroyed by fire in 1904. A new edifice completed in 1906 was also destroyed by yet another blaze in 1913. Firemen Elmer Johnson and John McKay were injured at the latest incident.

Elmer Johnson Jr. was married to Concetta M. Giorgione. The Johnsons had three children. The Johnsons lived at 216 Pearl Street in October of 1956. By 1959 they had moved to 108 North 34th Street in East Camden. The 1970 New Jersey bell telephone Directory shows Elmer Johnson Jr. at 2011 Ferry Avenue, then known as the Ferry Station Apartments. 

Having served for over 23 years, Elmer Johnson retired from the Camden Fire Department on July 1, 1974. 

By 1977 Elmer and Concetta Johnson had moved to Gloucester Township. Elmer C. Johnson Jr. passed away on October 4, 2007.



Camden Courier-Post * October 9, 2007

JOHNSON, ELMER, JR.
On October 4, 2007, of Gloucester Twp. Formerly of East Camden. Age 83.
Beloved husband of Concetta (nee Giorgione). Loving father of Douglas Johnson and his wife Nancy. Predeceased by his daughter and son, Jacqueline and Rodney Johnson. Grandfather of Christina and Kimberly Johnson. Also survived by his great grandson Zachary Johnson.
Elmer was a Veteran of the US MARINE CORP, who served during WWII. After the war, he was a firefighter for the City of Camden for 23 years. He was a member of the NJ State Retired Police & Fire Association, Inc., Local 11.
Relatives and friends are invited to the viewing on Wednesday, October 10 from 8:30-9:30 AM at the BRADLEY FUNERAL HOME, Rt. 73 & Evesham Rd., Marlton, NJ. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 AM Wednesday at St. Joan of Arc Church, 100 Willow Bend Rd., Marlton, NJ. Interment Brigadier General Doyle Veterans Cemetery, Arneytown, NJ. Memorial donations may be made in Elmer's name to: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


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